Arkansas State used an 11-0 second-half run to take the lead for good and then went on to a 75-57 win over SIUE men’s basketball Tuesday at Convocation Center at Arkansas State.
SIUE has now lost three straight and is 2-3 overall. Arkansas State has won five consecutive games and improved to 5-1 with the win.
After trailing 27-24 at halftime, The Cougars used a three-point play from Christian Ellis to tie the score just 42 seconds into the second half. The teams traded points and the game was tied at 32 apiece with 17:24 to play. SIUE then scored seven of the next eight points to build its largest lead of the game at 39-33. Burak Eslik scored five of the Cougars’ points during that stretch.
It was at that point where the Red Wolves proceeded on their run to take a five-point lead (44-39) with 11:25 left.
“They stayed the course,” SIUE coach Jon Harrissaid of Arkansas State. “They kept pushing. We had a pretty strong game plan coming in. I thought we played well probably for about 32-33 minutes in the game.”
Jalen Henry closed the gap to two points with a pair of free throws with 9:58 left that made it 45-43, but Arkansas State went on a 10-0 run to lead 55-43 with 7:33 left.
“We had about a four-minute stretch in there where we started going away from what was causing us to have some success,” Harris said. “We started letting them punch the gaps and get to the rim on us. I think that was the difference in the ballgame.”
Deven Simms scored a game-high 17 points to lead the Red Wolves. Devin Carter scored 14 points and Rashad Lindsey added 11.
Ellis led four SIUE players in double figures with 13 points. Eslik scored 12 points and had two three-pointers. Tre Harris scored 11 points thanks in part to three three-pointers. Keenan Simmons scored 10 points and led SIUE with seven rebounds.
Arkansas State outrebounded SIUE 36-26. The Red Wolves held an 18-9 edge on the boards in the second half.
“We have to keep pushing. I think we started the game with the right mindset,” Harris said. “We have to find a way to stay the course even when they make runs at us. We have to grow from this and be better next time around.”
The Red Wolves also shot the ball well throughout the game, finishing with a 56.9 percent success rate (29-51) in field goals. They were 18-27 (66.7 percent) shooting in the second half.
“Arkansas State is a good ball club, a well-coached team, Harris added. “They didn’t get frustrated.”
SIUE returns home for a Saturday afternoon matchup with IUPUI. Harris said the team will take the games as they come.
“We have to find a way,” he said. “We’re playing this thing one game at a time. We approach everything the same. It’s another opportunity for us to grow as a unit and be better.”