A-State Uses Second-Half Surge to Top UTA 75-70

JONESBORO, Ark. (1/20/22) – Arkansas State guards Marquis Eaton and Desi Sills scored 28 of their combined 30 points in the second half to help the Red Wolves overcome a nine-point halftime deficit and defeat UT Arlington 75-70 in a Sun Belt Conference men’s basketball game Thursday night at First National Bank Arena.

A-State collected its seventh victory over its last nine games, improving its overall record to 12-4 and Sun Belt mark to 3-1.  The Red Wolves also moved their home record to 8-1, while the Mavericks now stand 8-10 overall and 4-3 in league action.

Two of four A-State players scoring in double figures, Eaton and Sills finished the outing with 16 and 14 points, respectively.  Second-year freshman forward Norchad Omier ended the night with 18 points and 16 rebounds, both team highs, to collect his 11th double-double of the season and 26th of his career.  Sophomore guard Caleb Fields added 12 points and six assists for A-State.

Arkansas State trailed by as much as 14 points in the first half and 35-26 at the break, but scored the first nine points of the second half to quickly tie the game at 35-35 with 17:39 remaining.  The Red Wolves wouldn’t take their first lead of the game until three minutes later, going up 42-41 on a pair of Eaton free throws.

Holding on to just a 62-59 advantage with 3:47 left in the contest, A-State put together a 6-0 run over the next two minutes to take its largest lead of the night at 68-59.  The Mavericks managed to pull back within three points, 73-70, with seven seconds left on the clock, but couldn’t get any closer as Omier sealed the victory with a pair of late free throws.

Not only did Eaton score all of his 16 points in the second half, he also dished out five of his game-high eight assists over the final 20 minutes.  He also recorded two steals, giving him 139 for his career to move into a tie with Antonio Harvey (1995-98) for the sixth most in school history.

Arkansas State improved its field goal percentage from .393 in the first half to .600 in the second, ending the outing with an overall .491 mark.  At the same time, the Red Wolves limited UTA to 41.4 field goal percentage in the second half after it had shot 51.9 over the first 20 minutes.

A-State also held a 33-27 advantage on the boards and recorded 21 assists to UTA’s 13.  Both teams hit six three-point shots and finished with 14 turnovers apiece.

The Mavericks were led by three players scoring in double figures, including guard David Azore with a team-high 18 points.

The Red Wolves remain at home for their next contest, hosting Texas State on Saturday, Jan. 22, at 2:00 p.m.