Fort Worth, TX (A-State) – Arkansas State men’s basketball trailed by one at the half, but TCU closed the game on a 23-5 run to come away with a 77-54 win to snap the Red Wolves seven game win streak.
The Red Wolves fall to 7-2 on the season while TCU improved to 8-0. At 7-2, A-State is off to its best start since the 2008-09 season.
Devin Carter led A-State with 22 points while C.J. Foster added a career high 13 points. Vlad Brodziansky paced the Horned Frogs with 18 points while Kenrich Williams posted a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds.
“Looking at this thing, we knew we couldn’t turn the ball over and we had 10 turnovers in the first half,” said A-State head coach Grant McCasland. “You can’t do that against good teams because you saw the hole we dug early. We hadn’t started like that this year and that’s a credit to the TCU defense. We hadn’t seen length like they have and that really caused problems for us. Between us missing free throws, that turnover spree early in the game and them contesting all the shots at the rim, it really caused us problems.”
Despite an early 11-point deficit, A-State trailed 30-29 at the half. Carter converted a layup to give the Red Wolves a 31-30 lead early in the second period. TCU scored the next five points, but Carter hit another of his five three-pointers on the night to cut the deficit to 35-34 with 15:19 remaining. The Red Wolves were able to draw fouls and get to the charity stripe, but struggled at the line in the second half allowing TCU to pull away.
TCU hit a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 37-34 with 14:46 left, but A-State went 1-of-4 at the line on the next two trips down the floor cutting the deficit to 37-35 with 14:22 left. The two point deficit would be as close as the Red Wolves could get as TCU pulled away over the final 13 minutes.
The Red Wolves finished the second half 3-of-12 (25 percent) at the free throw line and saw the Horned Frogs close the game on the 23-5 run. Rashad Lindsey converted a layup to make the score 56-51 with 6:40 remaining and the Red Wolves got a stop on the defensive end to get a chance of making it a one possession game.
A-State had two layups rim out and the Horned Frogs took advantage by closing the game on a 21-3 run. The three points by the Red Wolves came on a trey by Carter with 4:32 remaining, cutting the deficit to 61-54, but that would be the final points for A-State. TCU scored the final 16 points to set the final score.
“I told the guys I love them and I was proud of them,” said McCasland. “I thought we competed, but we had that little stretch where we missed a couple of layups and they hit some three’s to stretch it to eight. After that, it felt like we were climbing up a hill. TCU is a good team and hopefully this will give us a chance to get better.”
Despite two 3-point field goals from Foster early in the first half, A-State faced an 18-10 deficit with 11:36 left in the first half. The Red Wolves clamped down defensively, holding the Horned Frogs without a field goal the next seven plus minutes and was able to tie the game after trailing by as many as 11 points.
The Red Wolves committed seven turnovers in the first eight minutes and TCU converted those mistakes into 11 points, nine of which came in transition. A-State cleaned it up the remainder of the half with just two turnovers while forcing the Horned Frogs into four miscues.
Carter heated up late in the first half, burying two three-pointers, the second of which tied the game at 26 with 2:47 left in the first half. A-State had two chances to take the lead late in the half, but trailed 30-29 at the break.
A-State finished the game 34.5 percent (19-55) from the field and 36.4 percent (8-22) from 3-point range. The Red Wolves struggled at the charity stripe, finishing 8-for-20 (40 percent). TCU finished 47.2 percent (25-53) from the floor and 36.8 percent (7-19) from long range. TCU was able to convert on 20-of-27 free throws (74.1 percent) and held a 16-0 advantage in fast break points. The Horned Frogs won the glass 38-34 and the battle in the paint 32-18.
The Red Wolves return to action December 14 in a 7 p.m. matchup at UT Martin.