JONESBORO, AR (astateredwolves.com) – The Arkansas State men’s basketball team rallied from a 14-point second half deficit to take a late five-point lead, but couldn’t hang on in the closing minutes of a 71-70 Sun Belt Conference setback against Troy Saturday night at the Convocation Center.
The Red Wolves, led by three players scoring in double figures, saw their 68-63 lead with 3:09 left evaporate as the Trojans went on an 8-0 run capped by a pair of free throws from Daniel Peace with just 13 ticks remaining on the clock. A-State’s ensuing trip down the floor saw Devin Carter, who finished with 15 points, fouled on a three-point attempt with three second left, sending him to the line for the potential game-tying free throws.
The junior guard hit his first two attempts before the third rolled in-and-out, setting up a last-second tip-in attempt by Nohoum Bocoum that was off the mark as the Red Wolves fell to 11-12 overall and 7-5 in Sun Belt Conference play. The Trojans overall record moved to 7-16, and they now stand 2-10 against conference opponents.
Junior forward Anthony Livingston led A-State’s offensive attack with 19 points, while Bocoum came off the bench to add 14 points. Donte Thomas added seven points and a game-high eight rebounds for the Red Wolves.
A-State found itself trailing for the majority of the game after falling behind 7-5 early and 36-24 with 4:25 left in the first half. The Red Wolves closed the half with a 10-3 run that made the score 39-34, but the Trojans were able to rebuild their lead to 14 points twice in the second half.
Down 52-38 with 14:48 left in the game, Arkansas State outscored Troy 30-11 over the next 11 minutes to go up 68-63. However, the Red Wolves couldn’t salvage any points out of their next five possessions before Carter’s free throws.
A-State finished with a higher shooting percentage, .431 to .403, and equaled Troy’s 38 rebounds, but was hurt by 12 turnovers the Trojans turned into 24 points. The Trojans also took 11 more shots and scored 18 second-chance points to the Red Wolves six.
Troy was led by two players scoring in double figures, including Wesley Person with a team-high 22 points and John Walton III with 21.
A-State begins a four-game road swing Thursday, Feb. 11, at Louisiana-Lafayette with a 7:15 p.m. contest.