DENVER (ASU) – The Arkansas State men's basketball team dropped a 66-52 contest at Denver in Sun Belt Conference action Thursday night at the Magness Arena.
The loss dropped ASU to 9-13 on the season with a 3-5 league record. Denver improved to 16-5 with a 6-2 Sun Belt mark.
Senior Malcoln Kirkland led ASU with 19 points and was the only Red Wolves player scoring in double-digits. Kirkland was 6-8 from the floor and 7-8 from the free throw line.
ASU shot a better percentage from the floor than Denver in the game connecting on 46.2% (18-39), but took 12 less shots than the Pioneers who went 22-51 for a 43.1 field goal percentage. Denver also connected on 11-23 from three-point range while A-State was 2-5.
Arkansas State battled back from an early eight point deficit and used a 12-4 run to tie the game on a layup by Kirkland with 7:38 left in the half, 14-14. After an unusual eight-point swing late in the first half ASU found itself down 28-21 at the break. Kirkland led A-State at halftime with seven points.
Denver came out and went on an 8-2 run to begin the second half. ASU battled back and scored six-straight to get the lead back to single-digits on a layup by Kirkland with 16:01 left in the game.
The Pioneers were able to stretch the lead back to double-digits and kept it there the rest of the way.
A-State outscored Denver 26-20 in the paint and outrebounded them 32-24. The Pioneers took advantage of 17 turnovers by A-State scoring 27 off of those miscues.
Junior forward Brandon Peterson led all players with eight rebounds but fouled out of the contest after 22 minutes of action. Kirkland was second on the floor with seven.
Denver's Chris Udofia led the Pioneers and all players with 21 points, connecting on 8-13 from the floor.
ASU returns to action on Saturday at North Texas. Game time against the Mean Green is set for 12 p.m. The game will be broadcast live by the Sun Belt Network.