Louisiana-Monroe 77, Arkansas State 69
MONROE, La. (AP)—Tony Hooper scored 26 points to help Louisiana-Monroe beat Arkansas State 77-69 Thursday night.
The victory puts the Warhawks (10-6, 4-0 Sun Belt Conference ) in sole possession of first place in the league. The win also moves Louisiana-Monroe to 7-0 at home this year.
Arkansas State (7-9, 2-2) built an 8-2 lead before the Warhawks hit their stride. Louisiana-Monroe outscored ASU 9-0 over the next four minutes to take an 11-8 lead. During that stretch, the defense stepped up, holding ASU to 0-for-1 from the field with four turnovers.
ULM used strong shooting from Jordan Payne and Hooper—who scored a combined 27 points in the first half—to build a 40-22 halftime lead.
In the second half ASU cut the Warhawk lead to four points with 5:42 remaining in the game. But Hooper stepped up, pouring in five straight points to push the Warhawk lead back over ten points at the four-minute mark. ASU was able to pull as close as six points in the final minutes of the game, but 5-of-6 free throw shooting from the Warhawks iced the game for ULM.
Payne scored 17 points for Louisiana-Monroe, Brandon Roberts added 11.
Arkansas State was led offensively by Adrian Banks 22 points.