JONESBORO, Ark. (ASU) – The Arkansas State men's basketball team had its chances down the stretch but was unable to tie or take the lead in the final seconds as UALR picked up a 63-62 Sun Belt Conference victory over A-State at the ASU Convocation Center Saturday.
The loss dropped A-State to 8-11 on the season and a 2-3 mark in league play while UALR improved to 8-11 and remained undefeated at 5-0 in conference action.
Two Red Wolves led A-State scoring in double-figures. Junior guard Marcus Hooten had 16 going 5-15 from the floor and 4-8 from three-point range while junior guard Trey Finn had a double-double for ASU, the second of the season and sixth of his career scoring 11 and pulling down 10 rebounds. Peterson also had 10 boards to lead ASU along with Finn.
Freshman guard Rakeem Dickerson came off the bench to score a career-high nine on 3-6 shooting. He was also 1-1 from three-point range and 2-2 from the free throw line.
"I thought it was a good college basketball game and I was proud of our team and the way it played and competed," said ASU head coach John Brady. We had opportunities to win the game and put ourselves in position to win the game and just weren't able to finish it off. I've always said a good season, a great season, a significant season an important season is measured by your ability to win close games and they are where they are because they have won every close game."
Townsel gave ASU the lead 60-59 with 1:28 left in the game hitting 2-2 free throws, but UALR's Will Neighbour drained a three on the following possession to put UALR up 62-60. After two 1-2 trips to the free throw line for A-State and a 1-2 trip to the charity stripe by UALR's Taggert Lockhart, UALR hung on to the one-point lead for the win. Townsel got a last-second shot with 1.7 seconds left on the clock after a missed free throw but the shot fell short.
ASU led most of the game including holding a 36-29 advantage at the half. A jumper by junior forward Brandon Peterson gave the Red Wolves their largest lead of the game, 29-19, with 3:23 left in the first half.
UALR came out and scored five unanswered points to begin the second half before Finn hit a three-pointer to put ASU back up by five, 39-34, with 16:40 left in the game. A Finn three gave ASU it's largest lead of the second half with 6:22 left in the game, 55-49.
ASU shot 35.8% from the floor connecting on 19-53 shots. ASU was also 42.1% from three (8-19) and 66.7% from the free throw line (16-24). The Red Wolves also outrebounded UALR 41-32 including a 17-11 margin on the offensive glass.
Chuck Guy led UALR with 18 points, going 7-11 and 2-4 from both three-point range and the free throw line.
A-State travels to Middle Tennessee Thursday for a matchup against the Blue Raiders. Tip off in Murfreesboro is set for 7 p.m.