MARTIN, TN (astateredwolves.com) – Arkansas State used a furious run to erase a 16-point second half deficit, but suffered a 74-70 setback at UT Martin Friday.
Senior forward Nouhoum Bocoum led the Red Wolves with 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting, his second-straight game with double figures. Bocoum and junior guard Donte Thomas each finished with nine rebounds to lead A-State (3-7) on the glass. Thomas added 15 points and four assists while junior forward Anthony Livingston and senior guard Sean Gardner added 13 and 12 points, respectively. Twymond Howard led UT Martin (5-7) with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
A-State committed 15 first half turnovers, but had just three in the second half. The Red Wolves trailed 35-25 at the break and a 9-3 run by the Skyhawks gave the hosts their largest lead of the night at 16, 44-28, with 17:03 remaining.
The Red Wolves used a 22-7 run to cut the Skyhawks lead to 51-50, but a three-pointer by Devin Carter rimmed out and UT Martin raced to the other end and drained a trey to regain a four-point lead. The two teams traded buckets before the Skyhawks grabbed a five-point advantage at 63-58.
A-State responded with a 5-0 run, but couldn’t seize the lead. Thomas hit a jumper and Carter drained a 3-pointer to tie the contest at 63-all. Carter created an opportunity for the Red Wolves to take the lead, but a pass for an open layup wasn’t handled and UT Martin took advantage of the opportunity by hitting a layup on the other end.
Free throws by Thomas knotted the score at 65-all and the junior guard hit a layup to give the Red Wolves a 67-65 lead with 2:13 remaining. Carter had a good look at a three spin out and UT Marin drained a layup to knot the game at 67 before a jumper clanked off the rim, but fell in to have the Skyhawks ahead 69-67.
UT Martin finished 20-for-25 (80 percent) from the charity stripe, including 13-for-15 in the second half. A-State was 16-for-23 (69.6 percent) at the free throw line on the game, but 10-of-16 (62.5 percent) in the second half.
A-State built their largest lead, 18-13, with 10:31 remaining in the half, but 10 turnovers and 2-of-13 shooting allowed the Skyhawks to take the 10-point lead to halftime. A-State went the final 4:18 of the first half without a field goal while committing five turnovers.
The Red Wolves shot 38.7 percent from the floor (24-62) while UT Martin was 33.8 percent (24-71), but the Skyhawks won the battle on the glass 49-42.
Arkansas State returns to action Tuesday, Dec. 22, with a 7:05 p.m. (CT) game versus Central Arkansas at the Convocation Center.