Press Release from Arkansas State Athletics
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (2/13/21) – Despite surrendering the lead late, a fade-away jumper by Christian Willis with 12 seconds remaining was what Arkansas State men’s basketball needed to oust Little Rock 67-65 and take a series sweep back to Jonesboro.
The Red Wolves (10-9, 7-5 SBC) claimed their fourth straight victory and second in as many days over the Trojans (10-11, 6-8), their fifth in the last six contests. A-State led by as much 17 in the second half, but held on despite its rival’s run to tie things up with 43 seconds to go.
Fittingly, Willis was the first player to score and the last to score and notched 12 points in the victory. Marquis Eaton tallied a game-high 23 points with five assists to lead the pack. Keyon Wesley added eight points while Avery Felts contributed eight off the bench.
The Scarlet and Black once again was strong offensively, shooting 55.1 percent (27-49) and 50.0 percent from three-point range (8-16). A-State also won the battle of the boards, 30 to 25 and led for nearly 38 minutes.
Four player scored in double figures for the Trojans, led by Nikola Maric’s 16 points. CJ White scored 15 while Marko Lukic and Ruot Monyyong scored 14 and 13, respectively.
The Red Wolves led from the tip, owning an early 7-0 lead started off by a three from Willis. Little Rock would trim the deficit down to one with seven minutes to go in the half, but a 12-3 stretch gave A-State a 10-point advantage with two minutes until half. The Scarlet and Black continued to keep the Trojans at bay, leading 30-22 at the half.
A-State’s lead ballooned to 17 early in the second half after Felts drained a trey, but the Trojans would not go away, as an 11-0 run made it 49-44 with 11:07 remaining. Little Rock took a 56-55 lead with 7:04 to go on a layup by Maric before the Red Wolves reclaimed a six-point edge with under five minutes left. Four straight points by Maric tied things at 65 with 43 seconds left, but A-State got the key basket it needed when Willis’ fade-away off the offensive glass found the net. A last-second three by White drew iron, but was no good as time expired to seal the victory.
A-State is slated to return to action Tuesday, traveling to San Marcos, Texas, for a make-up contest versus Texas State. Tipoff is slated for 6:00 p.m. on ESPN+ and the radio broadcast can be heard on 107.9 KFIN.