JONESBORO, Ark. — The Omaha men’s basketball team saw a 13-point lead slip away Tuesday night, falling 78-73 to Arkansas State at First National Bank Arena. The Mavericks are now 5-5 on the season, while the Red Wolves improve to 6-2.
Leaders for Omaha
JT Gibson led the Mavericks with 14 points and four assists. Zach Thornhill added 11 points and seven rebounds, and Ayo Akinwole had another 11 points with five boards. KJ Robinson rounded it out with 10 points, which marked his sixth straight game in double figures.
Matt Pile grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds and chipped in eight points.
Leaders for Arkansas State
Jerry Johnson hit 5-of-6 from beyond the arc en route to a game-high 22 points. Caleb Fields (16) and Canberk Kus (10) also scored in double figures. Fields finished 10-of-11 at the line and dished out a game-high six assists.
Omaha shot 47.3% (26-of-55) from the field and 76.2% (16-of-21) at the stripe. Arkansas State came in at 45.5% (25-of-55) from the floor and was 84.6% (22-of-26) at the line, all in the second half.
The Mavericks outrebounded ASU, 34-29.
Inside the First Half
After J.J. Matthews dropped in the first basket of the game for A-State, Omaha went on an opening 10-0 run to lead 10-2 by the first timeout. The Mavericks later suffered a four-minute scoring drought that allowed the Red Wolves to pull within three at 16-13, but a Thornhill jumper followed by an Akinwole layup after an ASU turnover put them back on track, 20-13.
A-State managed to get within seven on back-to-back Johnson threes, but Omaha held a 32-25 advantage at the halfway point.
Inside the Second Half
Omaha jumped out to a 6-0 run to start the second half and held the lead until just under the 11-minute mark, when A-State went up 45-44 — its first edge since the opening bucket. It was part of a key 15-2 run for the Red Wolves, who surged ahead 52-46 with 8:08 to go.
The Mavericks managed to pull within three four times in the final minute of play, but A-State was rock-solid at the line late, hitting 11-of-12 in the final two-and-a-half minutes to keep Omaha at bay.
Noting Tonight’s Game
-The all-time series between Omaha and Arkansas State is now tied at 1-1.
–JT Gibson extended his free throw shooting streak to 14-of-14, and KJ Robinson stretched his to 12-of-12, with both in place since Nov. 13.
Omaha heads to Northern Arizona on Sunday, Nov. 8. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. CT at the Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott, Ariz.