Preseason Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year Norchad Omier lived up to the hype in Monday’s men’s basketball exhibition, recording a double-double to help Arkansas State to a 72-66 win over Blue Mountain College.
Omier scored 22 points and grabbed 17 rebounds while swatting away 4 blocks in the win, which A-State earned after overcoming a 34-31 halftime deficit. In the second half, the Bluefields, Nicaragua, native scored 15 points and grabbed 12 boards.
The Toppers came out on fire, surging out to as much as a 15-point lead in the first half and leading for over 25 minutes in the contest. Second-half adjustments, along with offensive uptick, led to the Red Wolves taking the lead for good with under eight minutes remaining in the game.
A-State out-rebounded Blue Mountain 40-26, while outscoring the Toppers 31-0 off the bench. Farrington led that effort by the reserves, connecting on 5-of-10 from three-point range, while Caleb Fields tallied 12 points with 6 rebounds and 5 assists.
As a team, the Red Wolves shot 45.3 percent (24 of 53) from the field and 45.0 percent (9 of 20) from beyond the arc, while also connecting on 15 of 18 free throws (83.3 percent).
Cole McGrath led Blue Mountain with 21 points, 19 of which came in the first half, while Ty Jones added 18 points and 9 boards. Vantango Donzo was the third Topper in double-figure scoring with 16 points and 4 blocked shots.
Blue Mountain led 30-15 with 6:10 to go in the first half before A-State closed on a 16-4 run to cut it to 3 at the break. The Red Wolves kept it close until an Omier dunk and trey by Farrington handed the lead to the Scarlet and Black. The Toppers got a three by Tariq Meredith with 16 seconds left to cut it to 4, but Fields connected on a pair of free throws with 11 seconds to go to help seal the win.
A-State opens its 2021-22 regular season at 7:30 p.m. CT Tuesday, Nov. 9, versus Harding inside First National Bank Arena.