The Red Wolves (8-5, 2-2) led 28-23 at halftime. South Alabama shot 25 percent (8 for 32) in the first half.
For the Jaguars (6-6, 3-1), Augustine Rubit had a double-double with 20 points and 17 rebounds. Eight of his points came at the free throw line, Rubit going 8 for 12.
Antoine Allen, however, was the only other player in double figures for South Alabama with 11 points.
The Jaguars shot a season-low 27.4 percent (17 of 62) from the field. Arkansas State, meanwhile, was 21 for 55 (38.2 percent). South Alabama was abysmal from 3-point range, making just 4 of 27 beyond the arc. Allen was 1 for 10 on 3-pointers, Freddie Goldstein 1 for 9.
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Shaka Smart lost five seniors and his best player. But behind a trio of talented underclassmen, the Longhorns could be building something special.