Free throw shooting hurts A-State Men in loss to UT Arlington

Free throw shooting hurts A-State Men in loss to UT Arlington

JONESBORO, AR (A-State) – Missed free throws haunted Arkansas State men's basketball in a 79-75 loss to UT Arlington Saturday at the Convocation Center.

The narrow loss drops A-State to 11-18 on the season and 7-11 in conference play while UT Arlington moves to 19-9 overall and 10-7 in Sun Belt play. Nick Pailas was one of four Mavericks to foul out in the game, but he led UT Arlington with 14 points while Kaeolon Wilson had 13 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

Devin Carter scored a game-high 24 points, but had a potential game-tying three pointer inside 10 seconds remaining rim out. Carter was 5-for-10 (50 percent) from the field and 3-for-6 (50 percent) from 3-point range. Donte Thomas added 19 points on 50 percent (5-for-10) shooting and Charles Waters added 10 points and six rebounds. Anthony Livingston was 0-for-8 from the floor, but had six points on 6-of-10 (60 percent) shooting at the free throw line while grabbing 10 rebounds.

"We got a great shot at the end, and we set a screen for him, but it just didn't go in," said A-State head coach John Brady. "But, we have had many times where we have shot the three and scored it and have had nice execution of the game plan on the inbounds play, but you know, we had opportunities. We just have to shoot it a little bit better and you know we had 53 free throws and you make 40 of them and still miss 13 it's a different outcome."

The game featured 60 fouls and a combined 83 free throws with a total of six players fouling out. The Red Wolves finished the night shooting 33-of-53 (62.3 percent) at the charity stripe, struggling to 20-of-33 (60.6 percent) in the second half. UT Arlington was 16-for-30 (53.3 percent) at the free throw line, but hit 10-for-17 (58.8 percent) in the second half.

A pair of free throws by Nouhoum Bocoum tied the game at 62 with 6:40 left, but the Red Wolves went on to make just 9-of-17  foul shots down the stretch. A-State went empty on double-bonus opportunities twice, each time with the deficit at less than two points.

The Red Wolves faced a 10-point deficit at halftime, but used a 14-2 run to hold a six-point advantage with 11:15 remaining. The Mavericks scored the next six points to tie the score at 55 and the two teams traded buckets to set up a close finish.

After shooting just 25 percent in the first half (6-24), the Red Wolves were 12-for-29 (41.4 percent) in the second period, but struggled from long range going 2-for-8 (25 percent). UT Arlington finished the night with a 44-18 edge in the paint, including a 20-4 edge in the first half.

A-State opened the game 4-for-9 (44.4 percent) from the floor, including hitting 3-of-4 (75 percent) from 3-point range, to build a 19-12 advantage in the first seven minutes. From there, the Red Wolves hit just 2-of-15 (13 percent) the final 13 minutes of the first half while being outscored 27-10.

The Red Wolves ended up having as many free throw attempts (53) as field goal attempts (53) on the game, shooting 18-of-53 (34 percent) for the game. UT Arlington posted a 46-36 advantage on the boards, converting four key second half offensive rebounds for eight second-chance points.