JONESBORO, AR (A-STATE) – Forwards Charles Waters and Anthony Livingston both recorded a double-double to lead the Arkansas State men’s basketball team to a 75-69 overtime victory against defending Sun Belt Conference champion Georgia State Thursday night at the Convocation Center.
A-State, which erased a seven-point halftime deficit, evened its overall record to 10-10 and moved into a tie with Louisiana-Lafayette for second place in the Sun Belt standings with a 6-3 league record. The Red Wolves claimed their first ever win over Georgia State as SBC foes, bringing the Panthers overall record this season to 12-7 and league mark to 5-4.
“I’m so proud of the players for how they battled and how they fought,” said A-State head coach John Brady. “We stayed with it. We kept fighting and battling and we made some timely baskets. We got some big rebounds on the other end we were able to overcome a good Georgia State team. It was great win for us.”
Waters collected his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, both career highs, while Livingston recorded game highs with 22 points and 12 boards, his 25th career double-double in 49 games. They became the first A-State duo to record a double-double in the same outing since the 11th game of last season.
Also scoring in double digits for the A-State were guards Devin Carter and Sean Gardner with 15 and 13 points, respectively. Fellow guard Frederic Dure added six points and career-high totals for assists (6) and blocks (4).
A-State, which shot just 24 percent in the first half, found itself down 26-19 at the break and trailed for the majority of the second half. Georgia State still led 49-42 at the 4:51 mark, but the Red Wolves went on an 11-7 run to pull within 56-53 with 23 seconds left in regulation.
Dure connected on a jumper in the paint with 17 second left and was fouled, giving him an opportunity to tie the game. After Georgia State couldn’t corral a rebound and deflected the ball out of bounds, Waters hit a layup six seconds later on an inbounds pass from Dure to give them their first lead, 57-56, since early in the opening half.
Georgia State’s ensuing possession saw Isaiah Williams fouled on a drive to the basket with seven seconds left, setting up an opportunity for the Panthers to take the lead at the stripe. He was able to hit the first, but missed the second to put A-State in its second overtime situation of the season.
A-State shot 71 percent in the overtime period, including going 2-of-2 from beyond the arc, and made 6-of-6 free throws as it never trailed. Gardner, who scored all of his 13 points in the second half and overtime, began the final five minutes by hitting a three on the Red Wolves’ first possession.
Carter pushed A-State’s lead to 63-58 less than a minute later when he hit a three, and the Red Wolves went up 65-58 with 2:38 left on a pair of free throws by Livingston. The Panthers were able to pull back within three points a couple of times, but couldn’t get any closer.
Arkansas State finished the game with a .393 field goal percentage in comparison to GSU’s .328. The Panthers held a slight 47-46 advantage on the boards, but A-State scored five more second-chance points and two more points in the paint.
The Red Wolves return to action Saturday, Jan. 30, with a 7 p.m. game against Georgia Southern at the Convocation Center, where A-State holds an 8-2 record this season.