First Place ULM Falls to Red Wolves
The Red Wolves snapped a five-game skid, improving to 10-15 overall and 5-11 in league play. The Warhawks six-game winning streak came to an end, bringing their overall record to 18-9 and conference mark to 12-4.
Earning his first start of the season, Dure was 9-of-10 from the field, collected a career-high eight rebounds, dished out three assists and scored the game-winning bucket to lead the Red Wolves to the victory. He was one of four A-State players to score in double figures, including Cameron Golden with 17 points, Anthony Livingston with 15 and Kelvin Downs with a career-best 12.
A-State matched its largest lead of the night when Livingston hit a layup that put the Red Wolves ahead 65-54 with 6:13 left in the game, but the Warhawks went on 14-3 run to tie the game with 10 seconds remaining.
Sophomore guard P.J. Hardwick immediately took the ensuing inbounds pass, drove to the opposite baseline and found a trailing Dure for the game-clinching layup with five seconds left on the clock. ULM’s Majok Deng had one final look at a three-point attempt, but the shot was long and bounced off the back of the iron as time expired.
The Red Wolves recorded a .453 field goal percentage in comparison to ULM’s .415 and only one rebound separated the two teams, but A-State committed a season-low eight turnovers and outscored the Warhawks 30-20 in the paint.
Arkansas State grabbed a 14-8 advantage nearly midway through the first half, but ULM outscored the Red Wolves 21-5 over the next six minutes to grab its largest lead of the game at 29-19. With A-State still trailing 29-21, Downs threw down a one-handed dunk putback that sparked the Red Wolves.
The dunk was the second bucket in a 15-7 run by A-State that tied the score 36-36 at halftime. ULM scored the first bucket of the second half, but the Red Wolves answered with a 6-0 burst and never trailed again.
Arkansas State returns to action Thursday, Feb. 26, with a 7:30 p.m. Sun Belt Conference game against UT Arlington at the Convocation Center.
Head Coach John Brady Quotes
I have always, and still think until this day that we need to just play well for 40 minutes, play a little bit smarter, be more consistent, and execute better. We kind of did that for the most part tonight. We beat a team that has won 12 of their last 14 games, leading the league by two games.
Everybody that played, played well. We had a little while there when where we could have won a little easier, but we missed some free throws, missed a lay-up, and then we got a couple big stops there. We benefited from them missing a few layups themselves. We kept playing.
It has always been my philosophy, as you guys know, if the scored is tied at home and you have overtime in the bag, overtime is your advantage, so I’m not going to ever stop the clock on a retreating defense. We are just going to run down the floor and try to penetrate as deep as we can and make a play. Fred (Dure) had the presence of mind to trail the play, PJ (Hardwick) turned the corner on the baseline, and he got it to him and laid it in. Then we had the presence of mind to stop the ball and slow it down. We made Nick Coppola give it up which I liked. They kind of took a rough shot at the end and of course it didn’t go in. When a lot of those times things aren’t going your way, those kinds of shots go in on you. We were fortunate it didn’t go in.
We played with some effort and played well. We just have to see if we can finish it out. Four of the last five at home, well now three of the last four, we have a big game with Texas State and we have a big game at home Thursday. If we can play like we did tonight, we can make a run here at the end and it will be great for our players to do that. I was proud of our team, proud of everyone that played.
I know everyone is going to say something about Frederic Dure. He played tremendous. I made a starting lineup change there trying to look for something to spark our team. We put C.J. Foster in the lineup a couple games ago; we took PJ (Hardwick) out and now put Fred in. He gave us a spark tonight. He was 9-for-10 and 3-for-4 from the three-point line. He won the game for us tonight. He needs to be a little bit better defensively. He missed two months with no practice, missed the first 15 games, but he has learned to get better and was really great tonight. He made a couple nice passes on the break; one long pass to Anthony (Livingston) for a lay-up and that was big for us. It was a good win for our team, a much needed win, and I am happy for our guys and proud of our players.
Reporter: What was behind starting him today?
Coach Brady: Fred’s attitude is good. He doesn’t say much, doesn’t drop his head. I’ve talked to several of the players over the past couple days, had individual meetings. I got their sense and their feel and just decided that I would make that change, and it worked out tonight.
Reporter: It seemed like Kelvin Downs gave you a boost tonight?
Coach Brady: Kelvin played good in Little Rock. I’m sorry I didn’t mention him but he played well then. His attitude over the last 6 or 8 games has really been great. He changed his attitude a little bit, his approach, and now his game is getting better. It’s funny how that works. I’m proud of him, he is starting to rebound the ball. He rebounded tonight a little bit. I don’t mind him fouling, he is trying to be aggressive now. I was surprised he missed 2 free throws but despite that he played well. We still need to execute a little bit better at times but we made a play or two out of timeout. That basket right before half was out of a time.
A-State Player Quotes
(Frederic Dure, Cameron Golden and Anthony Livingston)
Where did that performance come from Frederic?
Dure: My teammates and coaches told me to be aggressive, so I went out and tried my hardest.
How does it feel for you two guys?
Golden: Man it’s a great feeling. Oh, I don’t want to lose this feeling basically, I want to keep it up.
Livingston: Yeah, it’s a beautiful feeling. We don’t want to lose this feeling. We got another one of our own this Thursday coming up. We got to come with the same intensity and the same execution.
Frederic, did you know that you had that in you? I mean to score 22 points when your previous high was five. What happened? What was going through your head?
Dure: Really, I know that I can do it. It’s just that I wasn’t confident, but today my coaches and teammates told me to play hard because this was the first time that I was going to start. You got to be ready when your number is called, and I was ready.
How does it feel for you and Cameron to have another option out there to take some of the pressure off?
Golden: Oh man, its way easier out there now. It takes the fatigue off us as well so we can put more pressure on defense.
Livingston: Yeah it does put more pressure on the defense and he’s not one-dimensional. He can rebound. He can play defense. He was one of our best players out there today if you didn’t notice. It definitely makes it easier for me because no one is subbing in on me. There may be a double team but there were no triple teams like there sometimes is.
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