AState 67 UCA 49
The victory ended the Red Wolves’ two-game losing streak. The victory was the third straight over the Bears in the four-game series, which will conclude next year with a game in Jonesboro.
Anthony Livingston led the Red Wolves with 20 points. Cam Golden, who won the game here two years ago with a 3-pointer at the buzzer, finished with 14 points, 4 assists and 5 steals. Junior college transfer Nom Boucoum finished with 12 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks.
TURNAROUND: It was a back and forth first half and even though the Bears (0-7) never led they did manage two ties and cut it to a point three times, including 29-28 at the half.
The Red Wolves started the second half with a 10-2 run and eventually built the cushion to double figures. The lead ranged from 14 midway in the second half to up to 20 by the closing seconds.
UCA scored just 21 points in the final half, part of that to blame on 6 of 16 free throw shooting. They also shot 30 percent from the field in the period and had 11 turnovers.
DIFFERENCE MAKER: Brady cited the play of Boucoum, a 6-9 junior from Harlem, NY, who had all of his points in the second half along with 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. He was 6 of 7 from the field in the period.
“Someone had to step up and tonight was my turn,’’ he said.
SOME NUMBERS: Arkansas State shot 45 per cent from the field for the game but was 52 percent in the second half. The Red Wolves were 9 of 16 from the line, while UCA was 7 of 18. On 3-pointers, the Bears were 8 of 21 and A-State finished 6 of 19. ASU won rebounding 37-36 and forced 21 turnovers and had 14, just 5 in the second half. The Red Wolves also had 11 steals.
BACK FINALLY: Sophomore point guard P.J. Hardwick made his debut after missing the first two regular season games with a high ankle sprain. He played 35 minutes, hit 4 of 6 free throws for 4 points, had 3 assists, 2 steals and 5 turnovers.
No. 100: The victory was John Brady’s 100th as Arkansas State coach. He is now 100-93 in Jonesboro.
I thought we should have had a 10 or 12 point lead at the half. We make just so many careless mistakes with our team; I guess it is the new guys. I think our talent level is OK plus I think we missed 4 or 5 open shots in the first half. I thought we should have had 12 points or so and I just told them to keep guarding and defending and the offense will work itself out and it eventually did. We got a lift from Nom, Charles Waters gave us some active minutes and even though PJ Hardwick is not full speed he adds something to our team. It puts a little pressure on the other team’s defense and gets it to the rim a little bit. He will be a better player two weeks from now.”
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