Comeback not enough for A-State men against Louisiana

Arkansas State men come up short at Louisiana 77-74

Press Release from Arkansas State Athletics

LAFAYETTE, La. (1/23/21) – Trailing by 20 with 15:04 to play, the Arkansas State men’s basketball team trimmed the deficit to two, but Louisiana came away with a 77-74 victory over the Red Wolves Saturday at the Cajundome.

Norchad Omier once again led A-State (5-8, 2-4 Sun Belt) with a double-double effort of 15 points and 13 rebounds, his 10th-straight outing with 10 or more rebounds. Christian Willis scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half and Malcolm Farrington added 10 points off the bench. Marquis Eaton had 10 points and a game-high seven assists while Tim Holland had eight points and four rebounds in his first start. Cedric Russell and Jacobi Gordon led Louisiana (11-4, 5-3 Sun Belt) with 14 points each.

The Cajuns hit 10 of their first 12 shot attempts to lead 25-10 eight minutes into the contest. With 8:55 remaining in the half, Louisiana went on an 8-0 spurt to lead by 19, 36-17, the largest lead of the first 20 minutes for the home side. A-State got within nine by way of a 10-0 spurt at 36-27, but Louisiana took a 41-27 lead to the halftime break.

A 9-0 spurt early in the second half saw the Cajuns build the 20-point advantage, 55-35, with 15:04 to play. Later, A-State used a 12-2 run to get within 10, 57-47, but it wasn’t until a Willis 3-pointer with 7:14 to play that the Red Wolves got within double-figures. The Cajuns led 73-63 with 4:38 to play, but an 11-1 run saw the Red Wolves trail by two with 1:15 to play.

Both teams traded missed shots in the next minute, but two free throws by Ty Harper gave the Cajuns a 76-72 advantage. Farrington drove to the rim and sank a layup with three seconds to play to get within two once again and the Cajuns sank one of two free throws on the other end giving the Red Wolves one final chance to tie. A half court heave at the horn came up short and the Cajuns escaped with the three-point victory.

Louisiana finished the afternoon shooting 52 percent (29-56) from the field, but the 3-point shot keyed the Cajuns to victory. Gordon (4-4) and Russell (4-6) helped Louisiana to 11-of-16 (.690) for the afternoon. A-State shot 44 percent (28-64) overall, hitting 5-of-10 (.500) beyond the arc. The Red Wolves were 13-of-17 (.760) at the charity stripe while the Cajuns knocked down 8-of-13 (.620), all in the second half. The Red Wolves finished with a 36-32 advantage on the glass and had three fewer turnovers than the Cajuns, 17-14.

A-State returns to First National Bank Arena on Friday to host UT Arlington in the first of five-straight scheduled home contests. Game time is set for 6:00 p.m. and 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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