HOT SPRINGS (3/6/11) – The Arkansas State men's basketball team dropped its quarterfinal matchup against instate rival UALR, 59-52, at the Sun Belt Conference men's basketball tournament Sunday night.
The Red Wolves end the season with a 17-15 record while UALR improved to 17-16 and will face Middle Tennessee in the Sun Belt Conference tournament semifinal on Monday.
Senior guard Rashad Allison led the Red Wolves in scoring posting 16 points while also handing out two assists with no turnovers. Junior forward Martavius Adams led ASU posting double-digit rebounds with 12, which was a game-high.
A-State fell behind by double-digits in the opening frame when Alex Garcia-Mendoza hit a pair of free throws with 7:37 remaining in the first half.
The Red Wolves chipped away at the lead through the remainder of the half getting within one point when senior guard Donald Boone hit a layup with 1:37 remaining in the half and again got within one point, 29-30 when sophomore guard Adam Sterrenberg hit a pair of free throws with 24-seconds remaining in the half.
"First of all I want to congratulate Arkansas-Little Rock on being well prepared. I think our team played with some toughness and they did too. I think the difference in the game was without Trey Finn there we had to have someone absorb that somewhat. I think our team did that well enough to win the game we just couldn't make some baskets."
The Red Wolves tied the game twice in the opening minutes of the second half, first on a three by Sterrenberg in the opening minute and later when sophomore forward Brandon Peterson hit a layup at the 17:07 mark.
But, ASU was unable to over take the lead as UALR stretched its lead out to two possessions where they kept it until Adams hit a layup with 1:38 remaining to move ASU within two, 46-48. But after UALR hit a pair of free throws after a technical on the ASU bench and converted a layup they moved the game out to an eight-point lead with under a minute to play.
Allison hit a three-pointer with 34-seconds remaining but the Red Wolves could not manage to get closer than five points the rest of the way.
ASU outrebounded UALR 39-33 but were outscored in the paint 26-22. ASU shot 33.3% from the field and 65.2% from the free throw line.
Seniors Rashad Allison, Donald Boone and Jeremy Thomas suited up for the Red Wolves for the final time against the Trojans.