LAFAYETTE, La. – Caleb Fields drained a game-tying 3-pointer with three-tenths of a second remaining to send the game to overtime, but the Arkansas State men’s basketball team fell in overtime, 83-77, Thursday against Louisiana.
A-State drops to 10-4 on the season and 1-1 in Sun Belt play while the Ragin’ Cajuns improved to 8-5 overall and 3-0 in league play.
Norchad Omier had game-highs with 29 points and 17 rebounds for his ninth double-double this season and 24th career. Markise Davis joined Omier in double figures with 11 points while Caleb Fields had nine points, seven assists and five rebounds. Marquis Eaton scored six of his nine points and the charity stripe and Desi Sills added eight points, four assists and four rebounds. Kobe Julien led the Ragin’ Cajuns with 20 points with Theo Akwuba and Dou Gueye registering double-doubles.
The first 20 minutes had seven lead changes with the Ragin’ Cajuns leading for much of the half. A-State forced eight Ragin’ Cajuns miscues, but the hosts held a 16-4 advantage in points off turnovers for the half. After six first half turnovers, the Red Wolves committed just three turnovers over the final 25 minutes.
Trailing much of the second half, A-State saw the Ragin’ Cajuns used an 8-0 run to lead 62-53 with 8:36 to play. The Red Wolves clawed back with Davis draining a corner 3-pointer to tie the game at 66 with 3:40 left in regulation. An alley-oop from Fields to Omier gave A-State a 68-67 lead, the first lead for the Red Wolves since an 11-10 lead at 12:46 of the first half.
Louisiana tallied the next five points, but A-State refused to go away. After the Ragin’ Cajuns split a pair of free throws with 13.3 seconds remaining, A-State had a chance to tie and Fields drained the game-tying 3-pointer from the right wing with 0.3 showing on the clock. The game went to overtime, the first for A-State since January of last season and the Ragin’ Cajuns outscored the Red Wolves 8-4 for the victory. A-State was limited to 1-of-8 shooting in the extra frame while the Ragin’ Cajuns scored four of their eight points at the charity stripe.
Behind 17 rebounds from Omier, A-State out-rebounded the Ragin’ Cajuns 41-40. The Red Wolves logged 15 assists on 25 made field goals, but finished 35.2 percent (25-71) from the field and 27.8 percent (5-18) beyond the arc. Meanwhile, the Ragin’ Cajuns shot 50.0 percent (30-60) from the field and 35.7 percent (5-14) from 3-point range. A-State was 22-of-27 (.815) at the line while the hosts were 18-of-24 (.750). The Ragin’ Cajuns outscored A-State 42-30 in the paint and 17-8 off turnovers.
A-State continues the road trip Saturday at ULM. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m. from Fant-Ewing Coliseum with the matchup airing on ESPN+ and across the EAB Red Wolves Sports Network and flagship station 107.9 KFIN. For the latest on A-State men’s basketball, follow the team on Twitter (@AStateMB), Facebook (/AStateMB) and Instagram (@astatemb).