Arkansas State men’s basketball falls at #11 Illinois
Facing a ranked opponent for the first time since 2017-18, the Arkansas State men’s basketball team fell 92-53 Friday at the State Farm Center against No. 11 Illinois.
Marquis Eaton led A-State (1-1) with 15 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Desi Sills added 8 points and Antwon Jackson chipped in with 8 points off the bench. Coleman Hawkins was among three Illinois (2-0) players in double figures with a game-high 17 points.
Illinois limited the Red Wolves to 31 percent shooting (18-59) from the field and 3-of-16 (19 percent) from 3-point range. The Illini finished 46 percent (32-70) overall, but just 5-of-25 (20 percent) beyond the arc. Illinois scored 46 points in the paint and added 23 at the charity stripe on 38 attempts (61 percent). A-State was 14-of-16 (88 percent) at the line.
Trailing 18-4 just over seven minutes into the contest, A-State was able to cut the deficit to four, 20-16, with 9:29 to play in the first half. After technical fouls on Andre Curbelo and head coach Brad Underwood saw Eaton sink four free throws for a 6-point Illini lead, 30-24, at 6:31, the Illini closed the half on an 18-2 run to lead by 22 at the break.
Whistled for 17 first half fouls, A-State saw Illinois head to the charity stripe for 21 first-half free throws. The Illini knocked down 15-of-21 (71 percent) while the Red Wolves shot just four free throws in the half, all on the technical foul free throws. Outscoring A-State 15-6 to start the second half, the Illinois run since the back-to-back technical fouls grew to 33-8 for a 31-point advantage, 63-32, and the Red Wolves did not get within 26 points the remainder of the game.
A-State returns to First National Bank Arena to host Central Baptist College Monday at 7:30 p.m. Single-game and season tickets are available by visiting //AStateRedWolves.com/tickets. For the latest on A-State men’s basketball, follow the team on Twitter (@AStateMB), Facebook (/AStateMB) and Instagram (@astatemb).
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