Purdue’s First Half Shooting Dooms A-State Men’s Basketball in Loss

Purdue’s First Half Shooting Dooms A-State Men’s Basketball in Loss

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN. (ASU) – The Arkansas State men's basketball team couldn't overcome a slow start and hot-shooting Purdue squad in the first half as the Boilermakers topped the Red Wolves by a score of 87-46 Wednesday night at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind.

Purdue (8-2) opened the contest shooting lights out and held an 11-0 lead before Nouhoum Bocoum got A-State (2-3) on the board with a short jumper.  A-State cut into the lead with a Sean Gardner layup to make the score 14-6, but 10-0 run by the Boilermakers set the score at 24-6 with 10:34 remaining in the period.  Purdue finished the half on a 28-12 run to put the halftime score at 52-18.  The Boilermakers shot 65.5 percent (19-29) and Kendall Stephens was 6-6 from beyond the arc.

The Red Wolves started the second half with PJ Hardwick scoring six straight points, four on free throws and the other two on a layup, to set the score at 58-24.  A Bocoum free throw put A-State down 62-29, but the Red Wolves wouldn't get any closer the rest of the way.  The Boilermakers went on to outscore Arkansas State 35-28 in the second half and come away with an 87-46 victory to end A-State's two-game winning streak.

“The first 12 minutes I was trying to figure out who was playing out there because it didn't look like my team,” A-State head coach John Brady said.  “They were too physical for us, but we did a decent job preventing their big men from scoring, but then they had a guy hit six threes in the first half and we couldn't defend both.  We played better in the second half, especially from an execution perspective, but we've got to begin games better than what we did tonight.”

Livingston led the Red Wolves with 12 points while Bocoum added a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.  Hardwick scored eight points and dished out a team-high three assists, while Daijon Macklien added four points off the bench.  Purdue finished the game with a 50.8 percent mark from the field compared to A-State's 29.8 percent and had 12 different players score at least one point.

A-State returns to action Saturday Dec. 13 in Toledo, Ohio as the Red Wolves face Toledo.  Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. (CT) from Savage Arena and fans can keep up with the action by following @AStateGameDay on Twitter.  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).