Trojans comeback to beat the Red Wolves 74-67

By Charles McCray
On March 3, 2014

The three-game win streak was over for the Red Wolves when the University of Arkansas at Little Rock defeated the Arkansas State Red Wolves 74-67 in Little Rock at The Jack Stephen’s Center.

By losing their final regular season road game, A-state fell to 17-10 overall and a conference record of 9-6. UALR now sits at 14-15 and an even conference record of 9-9
A-state went into the halftime with a four point 32-28 lead. The Red Wolves defense in the first half was lock-down only, allowing 38 percent shooting from the field.

However, the turning point in the game was the defense in the second half.

“We didn’t play well in the second half,” said Head Coach John Brady in a press release. Senior Guard Melvin Johnson III echoed this after the game.

“We gave up a couple offensive rebounds towards the end of the game that were crucial, and we didn’t get the defensive stops we needed,” he said.

 The Dallas native, who has been an offensive powerhouse for the Red Wolves, finished with just four points.

A-state had the upper hand for the most part in the second half, but unlike the first, A-state allowed UALR to shoot an impressive 56 percent in the second half. Combined with the lack of defense, the Red Wolves could not hit a shot in the final minutes.

“This was the first time on the road that we didn’t shoot the ball well,” Brady said.

UALR got hot late and scored seven straight to increase their lead to nine points with just minutes remaining in the game. A-state finished the game with 40 percent shooting.

With the Sun Belt Conference Tournament just around the corner this was Johnson’s last regular season road game.

“As a senior it’s kind of a bittersweet feeling. I want to graduate and be out of school but at the same time I am going to miss playing in college and the team,” Johnson said.

 Junior guard Rakeem Dickerson of Little Rock likes his team chances for the upcoming conference tournament.

“I’m very confident about our chances in the conference tournament. We are a very talented team and with a little more hard work I think we will be SunBelt champs,” Dickerson said.

 The Red Wolves have just three conference games left, all of which are home games. Two of the three teams, Georgia State and University of Louisiana Lafayette, sit ahead of the Red Wolves, and with a perfect record to close the season, the Red Wolves could move up to third place in the conference standings. Brady said he hopes the team can rebound from the loss and get ready to close the season out.

A-state’s final games are Tuesday against Georgia State, Thursday against Louisiana Monroe and Saturday against Louisiana Lafayette. All games are scheduled to play at 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center.

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