CONWAY, S.C. (1/25/18) – Cold shooting plagued the Arkansas State men’s basketball team in a 62-47 loss Thursday at Coastal Carolina.
The Red Wolves (7-14, 2-6) shot 18 percent in the first half and finished 17-of-68 (25 percent) from the field. A-State saw 38 of those 68 shots come beyond the arc and hit on just 21 percent (8-38). Defensively, A-State held Coastal Carolina (9-13, 3-6) to 41 percent (23-56) on the night, but the Chanticleers hit 52 percent (16-31) in the second half.
Tristin Walley tied his career high to lead A-State with 13 points on 4-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range. Grantham Gillard added 12 points and Ty Cockfield chipped in with 10. Artur Labinowicz finished with a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Chanticleers.
Coastal Carolina out-rebounded the Red Wolves 55-34 and the Chanticleers held a 12-4 advantage in fast break points. A-State forced 21 turnovers and collected 11 steals, but could only convert those 21 miscues into 16 points.
How It Happened (First Half):
Shots didn’t fall for either team in the first half with the two sides combining for 13 made field goals. The Chanticleers scored the first six points of the game before A-State hit three-straight shots to lead 8-6. Cockfield drained back-to-back 3-pointers, the only two made triples in the first half, and Gillard scored on a steal and layup to account for the 8-0 run.
The three-straight makes ended up being half of the six made for the Red Wolves in the first 20 minutes. A-State struggled to find a rhythm as the squad shot 18 percent (6-32) from the floor, including just 2-of-17 (11 percent) from 3-point range. Although the shots weren’t falling offensively, A-State held the Chanticleers to 28 percent (7-25) from the field. Six of the first 12 points for CCU came at the charity stripe and the home side did not make a 3-pointer in the first half.
Cockfield accounted for 10 of the 17 first half points with no other player registering more than two points. Coastal Carolina out-rebounded A-State 26-19 and outscored the Red Wolves 12-4 in the paint. A-State forced 12 first half turnovers and held an 8-4 advantage in points off turnovers.
How It Happened (Second Half):
The Chanticleers opened the second half by outscoring the Red Wolves 14-2 to take a 15-point advantage with 14:54 to play. The Red Wolves answered with six-straight points to trim the deficit to eight, but the Chanticleers heated up from the field and extended their lead to 19 points, 53-34, with 5:26 to play.
The Red Wolves refused to give in as back-to-back triples cut the deficit to 13, 53-40, with 3:34 to go. After the Chanticleers split a pair of free throws, Walley knocked in his third 3-pointer of the half to make it an 11-point game with 3:15 remaining. The Chanticleers again split free throws and Walley hit a pair to make it a 10-point game, but the deficit proved too large to overcome as the Chanticleers pulled away once again to set the final score.
Quoting Coach Balado:
“I didn’t think our shot selection was bad at all tonight, but we missed probably 15 open shots. This team is a much better shooting team than that and I just can’t explain it. We held them to 28 percent in the first half defensively, they had 21 turnovers, we had 11 steals and 13 offensive rebounds, but I do think we shot too many three’s. I thought 38 three’s for this team is a little high, but I never want to take away confidence from my guys. The shots didn’t fall tonight, but we’ve just got to watch the film. This game was lost in a six minute spurt when they went on a 14-2 run. When you aren’t shooting the ball well and a team goes on a run like that, you’re in trouble.”
Arkansas State travels to Boone, N.C., to take on Appalachian State Saturday at 2:30 p.m. (CT) on ESPN3.