Arkansas State defeats Louisiana Lafayette 79-74 for ninth win
The Arkansas State Red Wolves ended a three game losing streak in impressive fashion by storming back from a 10-point half time deficit to defeat Louisiana Lafayette 79-74 and win their ninth game of season, improving to 9-12, 2-4 on the season.
Behind a double-double performance by junior forward Brandon Peterson, the Red Wolves shot 50 percent from the field in the second half and overcame the fouling out of Malcoln Kirkland to get their first win since Jan. 7.
"That is probably as good a 40 minutes as we have played. The first half they scored too many baskets on us and we let them score too easily at times," head coach John Brady said. "With the second half offensively and defensively, I thought that was the best that we have played all year."
After trailing by as much of 12 points just 90 seconds into the second half, the Red Wolves climbed back into contention with the help from of two 3-pointers each from junior Trey Finn and freshman Rakeem Dickerson, bringing the Convocation Center crowd to its feet when ASU finally over came the Cajuns (10-11, 4-2).
From inside the paint, the Red Wolves equaled the Cajuns points with 40, with the last 24 coming in the second half.
"We went back to running our original offense, which we hadn't run in awhile," Brady said. "Our high post…throw the ball inside game. We went right at them and our guys did a good job of that."
Leading that attack was Peterson, who scored 19 points in the game, going eight of twelve from the field and also leading the team and game in rebounds with 11.
"I haven't been playing the way I should be the last couple of games," Peterson said. "I just felt like we needed this win tonight and I just wanted to have a lot of energy."
Behind Peterson, Kirkland, despite fouling out, had 14 points and six steals while Finn recorded 15 points and five rebounds in addition from making all four of his free throw attempts.
The Cajuns were led in scoring by J.J. Thomas with 20 points. Thomas shot 7 of 13 from the field and 2 of 5 from three point range. Bryant Mbamalu scored 17 and Kadeem Coleby earned 16.
"I thought it was an excellent game. I thought it was a great college basketball game," Brady said.
The Red Wolves will now go on the road to face second place Denver (14-4, 4-1) on Jan. 26 and third place North Texas (11-8, 4-2) before returning home Feb. 2 to face Louisiana Monroe.
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