Marquis Eaton has 15 pts but Arkansas State men fall at Louisiana

Marquis Eaton has 15 pts but Arkansas State men fall at Louisiana

A 15-4 run by Louisiana midway through the second half proved to be the difference as the Arkansas State men’s basketball fell 81-68 Friday at the Cajundome.

A-State (5-7, 2-3 Sun Belt) led 31-27 at the half, but Louisiana (10-4, 4-3 Sun Belt) outscored the Red Wolves 54-37 in the second half for the final margin. Marquis Eaton paced the Red Wolves with 15 points and four assists while Norchad Omier posted his sixth double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, his ninth-straight outing with 10 or more rebounds. Malcolm Farrington added 11 points off the bench. Cedric Russell led Louisiana with 26 points and Theo Akwuba had a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds.

The Red Wolves led for much of the first half, trailing by two, 10-8, with 12:28 to go in the first frame. A seven-point advantage, 28-21, with 2:25 to go was the largest lead in the frame coming on the heels of a 9-4 spurt by the Red Wolves. A-State limited the Cajuns to 35 percent from the field and just 1-of-12 (8.3 percent) beyond the arc and took a 31-27 lead to the break.

Following an Omier layup with 16:49 on the second half clock, the Red Wolves went 7:38 without a field goal. With A-State leading 46-45 with 12:08 to play, Louisiana went on a 15-4 run to lead 60-50 with 7:37 remaining. The Red Wolves were unable to get within nine points the remainder of the game as the Cajuns knocked down 14-of-16 at the line in the second half.

Louisiana limited the Red Wolves to 35 percent (19-55) shooting on the night and just 4-of-15 (.270) from 3-point range. The Cajuns finished 46 percent (31-67) from the field, but just 3-of-19 (.160) beyond the arc. Both teams shot 84 percent at the charity stripe, with A-State knocking down 26-of-31 compared to 16-of-19 for the Cajuns. Louisiana won the board battle 39-33 and outscored the Red Wolves 38-24 in the paint.

A-State closes the two-game series at Louisiana with game time scheduled for 4:00 p.m. Saturday. The game can be seen on ESPN+ and heard across the EAB Sports Network and flagship station 107.9 KFIN. For the latest on A-State men’s basketball, follow the team on Twitter (@AStateMB), Facebook (/AStateMB) and Instagram (@astatemb).

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