Terrance Ford Jr. scored a game-high 22 points and Caleb Fields added 21, including a clutch jumper with 14 seconds remaining, to help lift the Arkansas State men’s basketball team to a 75-70 home victory over Georgia State Saturday afternoon at First National Bank Arena.
Also scoring in double figures for A-State (11-18, 3-13), Omar El-Sheikh picked up his 10th double-double of the season with 12 points and a game-best 12 rebounds. Ford was a perfect 5-of-5 beyond the arc, becoming the first Sun Belt Conference player this season to hit all of his three point shots in a game when attempting at least five.
Arkansas State made 24-of-50 shots from the field for a .480 percentage, while Georgia State (10-18, 3-13) was 25-of-53 for a .742 mark. The Panthers finished with a slight 30-29 advantage on the boards, but the Red Wolves posted more second-chance points and committed just seven turnovers.
Although the first half featured five ties and seven lead changes, Georgia State was able to build a 25-17 advantage with 7:30 remaining. Fueled by four made three pointers by Ford, A-State responded with a 14-2 run over the next three minutes to go up 31-27. However, the Panthers responded by outscoring the Red Wolves 11-4 the remainder of the half to take a 38-35 lead into the break.
Georgia State was able to extend its lead to eight points early in the second half and didn’t relinquish the advantage until 12:48 as A-State capped a 7-1 run when Ford hit his fifth shot of the day from the perimeter.
The remainder of the game was a back-and-forth contest, but A-State took the lead for good with just under four minutes left to play. Following a Georgia State three that pulled the Panthers back within 72-70, Fields worked the shot clock down before connecting on a mid-range jumper to make it a two-possession game with 14 seconds left. The Panthers missed a three on their ensuing trip down the court, and Ford made one last free throw to set the final score.
Georgia State was led by four players scoring in double figures, including Brenden Tucker and Collin Moore with 18 points each.
Arkansas State is set to close out the regular season next week with a pair of road games, beginning with a 7:30 p.m. contest at Louisiana on Wednesday, Jan. 22. The game will appear on ESPN+.