Red Wolves fall to North Texas in Men's Hoops

DENTON, TEXAS (ASU) – The Arkansas State men's basketball team fell 76-64 at North Texas Saturday in Sun Belt Conference action at the Super Pit.

ASU fell to 9-14 on the season with a 3-6 Sun Belt mark. The Mean Green improved to 13-9 on the year with a 6-3 league mark.

Junior forward Brandon Peterson recorded his third double-double of the season and seventh of his career leading Arkansas State with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Peterson is just one rebound away from breaking the 500 career rebound barrier.

Senior forward Malcoln Kirkland was the only other ASU player in double-digit scoring with 11.

"From an effort point and an execution standpoint I have no criticism," said ASU head coach John Brady. "When you don't score for a while it can affect you on the other end defensively, you feel like you are spinning your wheels and that can work on you. They made some big plays and some big shots on us and when we had our opportunities to keep the game  workable at times we don't convert."

In the first half, North Texas built a 10 point lead going up 23-13 on a pair of Brandan Walton free throws. ASU then went on a 10-0 run to tie the game when sophomore guard Kinley Ogbonnaya-Branch hit back-to-back three-pointers with 7:57 remaining in the half, 23-23.

It was mostly a one-possession game through the rest of the half before a couple of quick baskets in the last minute gave the Mean Green a 36-30 lead at the half.

Peterson had 10 first half points to lead the Red Wolves and eight first half rebounds.

In the second half, North Texas stretched its lead to 21 at one point, but the Red Wolves went on a 9-0 run in the final minutes to close that gap to 12.

ASU shot 37.7% (23-61) from the floor and connected on 6-16 from three point range. The Mean Green were 50% (27-54) from the field and hit 7-13 from three. Tony Mitchell led North Texas with 21 points and 15 rebounds.

The Mean Green outscored ASU in the paint 34-28 and edged them out in the rebounding battle 35-34.

The Red Wolves return to action on Thursday when they host ULM at 8 p.m. at the ASU Convocation Center. The game will be featured as a Sun Belt game of the week and will be carried live on CSS and CST.