JONESBORO — Led by a career-high 32 points from senior guard Marquis Eaton, the Arkansas State men’s basketball team erased a 12-point first-half deficit to knock off Louisiana-Lafayette 95-87 Friday night at First National Bank Arena.
The Red Wolves (7-9, 4-5 Sun Belt) connected on 11-of-20 3-point attempts for a season best .550 shooting percentage from beyond the arc. The win ended a five-game winning streak for the Ragin’ Cajuns (13-5, 7-4).
ASU improved to 7-2 at home this season as Eaton was joined by two other players scoring in double figures, including sophomore guard Caleb Fields with 20 points that were two shy of his career high. Redshirt freshman guard Malcolm Farrington added 13 for the Red Wolves.
Not only did Eaton become the first A-State player to score 30 points in a game since Ty Cockfield posted 35 against UL Lafayette on March 9, 2019, he also dished out nine assists that were only one shy of his career-high mark.
A-State’s 95 points were its most against a Sun Belt Conference opponent during a regular-season game since it posted a 98-80 home victory over Denver on Feb. 7, 2000.
After trailing the Ragin’ Cajuns by 38-36 at halftime, the Red Wolves shot 71.4 percent in the second half to pick up their second win over their last three outings and improve to 7-2 at home this season.
A-State didn’t take its first lead until the 15:26 mark of the second half, when Markise Davis drilled the first of back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Red Wolves ahead 47-45.
The Red Wolves continued to build their lead and eventually went up by as much as 14 points, 69-83, with 3:17 left in the game. UL Lafayette managed to pull back within four points of the A-State lead twice over the last two minutes, but couldn’t get any closer.
Although the Ragin’ Cajuns out-rebounded the Red Wolves 35-24, A-State finished the outing with a .569 field goal percentage compared to Louisiana’s 52.5 percent. Arkansas State also turned 15 UL Lafayette turnovers into 15 points while only committing eight turnovers itself.
UL Lafayette opened a double-figure lead, 16-6, six minutes into the game and held its largest lead of the night at 26-14 just over midway through the first half. However, the Red Wolves outscored the Ragin’ Cajuns 22-10 over the next nine minutes to pull within 38-36 heading into the break.
The Red Wolves and Ragin’ Cajuns meet again today at 4 p.m. at First National Bank Arena.