The Arkansas State Red Wolves raced to a big first-half lead then held on for a 76-73 victory over UALR Monday night at the Convocation Center.
Coach John Brady called the first half “flawless” as A-State ran to a 48-30 lead but had to hold on in the second half as UALR (15-2) closed to within 1 at 74-73 in the final minute.
“We knew they would make a run at us,’’ said Brady. “They are a good team and they are playing with a lot of confidence right now. They came out with more intensity in the second half. This was a big win.”
The victory moves the Red Wolves back into a tie for first with UALR and UTA, all with one loss and lifts the time after its poor performance on Saturday in an 86-72 loss.
“That game Saturday was not us,’’ said Brady.
With a new drive, the Red Wolves almost made UALR points allowed average coming in for a game in the period. UALR came in allowing 55.8 points per game, tops in the NCAA. The Red Wolves shot 62 percent in the half and was 6 of 9 on 3-pointers.
In the second half the Trojans shot just 36 percent in the second half, but they were 15 of 19 from the free throw line (ASU was 9 of 14 in the half but just 15 of 27 for the game), made 5 steals and an 8-5 turnover and 23-17 rebounding edge in the period.
“They hits some threes, which they haven’t been doing, and we missed our free throws and some layups,’’ said Brady. “If we hit our free throws I think we win by 10.”
Anthony Livingston, who hit the big jumper with 51 seconds left for a 3-point cushion, and Devin Carter led the offense with 20 points each. Livingston also had 10 rebounds. Devin Carter had 10 assists. Off the bench, Nom Bocoum had 11 points and Fred Dure had 10
UP NEXT: The Red Wolves hit the road for the Texas swing, at UTA (13-3, 4-1) and at Texas State (8-6. 2-3).
No. 400: The victory was the 400th for Brady in his career. He is 400-333 in 25 seasons. He is 119-117 at A-State.
SOME NUMBERS: The Red Wolves finished 27 of 54 for 50 percent from the field, 7 of 17 on 3-pointers and 15 of 27 on free throw shooting. UALR finished 19 of 58 (33 percent), 10 of 26 3-pointers (39 percent) and 25 of 30 free throws (83 percent.) UALR out-rebounded A-State 38-36. Turnovers were eve at 13.
NO DOUBTING THOMAS: Junior college guard Donte Thomas turned in another strong all-around game with 7 points, 6 assists and 10 rebounds.
UALR SKED: The Red Wolves’ travel partner visits Texas State on Thursday and is at UTA on Saturday. Next week A-State and UALR share the Georgia teams.