A-State Men’s Basketball Falls to SAU in Final Exhibition
JONESBORO, AR (ASU) – The Arkansas State men's basketball team fell to Southern Arkansas 69-67 in its final exhibition game after the Muleriders outscored the Red Wolves by 12 points in the second half Wednesday night at the Convocation Center.
Anthony Livingston registered his second double-double in exhibition action with 19 points and 18 rebounds, while Sean Gardner scored 22 points to lead all scorers in the contest. SAU was led by Tyrell Taylor's 21 points, including the game winner as time expired, and Jaron Davis's 18 points.
“Our first three shots early in the game were three-pointers after one pass and right there, I knew we weren't as mentally into playing the game tonight as we were last week,” A-State head coach John Brady said. “Then down the stretch they made baskets when they needed to, but we didn't make shots that we had and they were pretty good looks.”
The Red Wolves cut the Southern Arkansas lead to one at 65-64 after a dunk by Ronnie White, but the Muleriders' Taylor hit two free throws with 21 seconds remaining to move the SAU edge to 67-64. After an A-State timeout, Gardner hit a deep three-pointer to tie the game at 67-67, but Taylor took the inbounds pass and went coast-to-coast to hit a game-winning floater that set the final score at 69-67 in favor of SAU as time expired.
A-State opened a 12-point lead in the second half after a Livingston layup with 16:14 left on the clock. SAU called a timeout and proceeded to go on a 15-0 run after the timeout to take a 49-46 advantage with 11 minutes left in the half. The Red Wolves responded with a 6-2 run to take a 52-51 lead on a Gardner layup with 9:28 remaining in the game. However, the Muleriders took the lead on the next possession 53-52 and stretched the lead to 62-56 after a 9-4 run.
SAU shot 48.3 percent in the second half after shooting 36.4 percent in the first half. The Muleriders also connected on 50 percent (4-8) from three-point territory and 70 percent (7-10) at the free-throw line in the second half. Meanwhile, A-State only shot 28.9 percent (11-38) in the second half and finished the game with a 31.4 percent (22-70) mark for the entire contest.
The Muleriders tested the Red Wolves early in the first half as SAU held a 16-12 lead with 10:28 remaining on the clock. A-State's Daijon Macklein connected on a three-pointer at the 10:16 mark to start a 14-0 run as the Red Wolves raced past the Muleriders for a 26-16 lead with 7:15 left in the half. SAU would cut the lead to five points on two different occasions, but never got any closer as Arkansas State earned a 40-30 advantage at halftime.
A-State returns to the court Monday, Nov. 17, as the Red Wolves host UT Martin in their regular-season opener at the Convocation Center. A 7:05 p.m. (CT) tipoff is scheduled for the game and tickets may be purchased by calling the A-State Central Box Office at 1-888-ASU-FANS or ordering online at www.astate.edu/tickets.
For the latest news and updates on A-State men's basketball, follow the Red Wolves on Twitter (@AStateMB) and head coach John Brady (@JohnBrady_Coach).