LAFAYETTE, LA. (ASU) – The Arkansas State men's basketball team dug a hole itself a hole it couldn't climb out of in the second half as the Red Wolves missed their final five shots with less than two minutes remaining and ended up falling on the road to Louisiana-Lafayette, 61-56, this Saturday (Jan. 12) in Sun Belt Conference (SBC) action at the Cajundome in Lafayette, La.
The Red Wolves, who trailed by 12 points at 57-45 with just over five minutes remaining, moved rapidly on the comeback trail as the Ragin' Cajuns' lead went down to four (60-56) after freshman guard Cameron Golden sank a pair of free throws. Unfortunately, ASU was unable to score again in the time remaining as the Red Wolves missed their final three shots and as a result of the loss fall to 10-7 overall and 4-4 in the SBC's West Division on the season.
Senior guard Trey Finn scored 15 points, highlighted by 8-of-10 at the free throw line, to lead the Red Wolves. Cameron Golden came off the bench to net 13 points and freshmanguard-forward Raeford Worsham added 12 points. Senior forward Brandon Peterson's nine rebounds was tops for ASU, which also received six boards apiece from Trey Finn and junior forward Kendrick Washington.
ASU's shooting woes continued as the Red Wolves misfired on their last five shots in the final minute plus and finished the night with a 34.6% (18-52) performance. The Ragin' Cajuns struggled as well shooting the ball as evidenced by 38.5% (20-52), but did manage to connect on 40% (6-15) from three-point territory. The Red Wolves on the other hand, made 22.2% in three-pointers by hitting on only four of 22 trey attempts.
"We just weren't very good," said ASU head coach John Brady. "We haven't shot it well in a while. Our effort was there, we rebounded the ball, and the last 10 or 12 minutes we tried to guard someone. We just couldn't score it."
The Red Wolves led only one time in the first 20 minutes of action at 5-3 on a three-point field goal from Trey Finn at the 17:02 mark. ULL would snap a seven-all tie by scoring eight straight points to go up 15-7 with 12:34 to play before ASU came back to pull into a 19-apiece tie on an Ed Townsel free throw with 7:02 left to go. From there, the Ragin' Cajuns reeled off six straight to hold a 25-19 advantage with 5:22 on the clock. A-State managed to get within three at 27-24 as Kendrick Washington converted a three-point play with 2:33 left only to have ULL score the half's last six points to go into the break leading 33-24. Cameron Golden's seven points at the half was tops the Red Wolves while Brandon Peterson pulled down seven rebounds.
The loss at ULL marked the sixth straight time in which the Red Wolves have come away on the short end at the Cajundome. The last ASU win on the Ragin' Cajuns' home floor was a 73-63 victory back in the 2006-07 season (12/17/06).
"Our effort as good," Brady said, "but our execution needs to be coupled with that effort, especially when we're on the road. We've had three wins over the best three teams on the other side of the league (Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky and South Alabama), but sometimes we'rejust average and we were just average tonight."
The Red Wolves will entertain the ULM Warhawks next Saturday, Jan. 19, in a Sun Belt Conference West Division contest at the ASU Convocation Center in Jonesboro, Ark. The matchup, which starts at 7:05 p.m. (CT), represents the first of two regular-season outings between the two schools. Tickets for the game and all remaining 2012-13 ASU home contests can be purchased through the A-State Ticket Office at (870) 972-2781 or 1-888-ASU-FANS. For ticket information and the latest news on the Red Wolves, visit www.astateredwolves.com.