The Trojans (8-12, 3-8 Sun Belt) led 42-24 at halftime on 51.5 percent shooting, but saw their big lead dwindle in the second half.
The Red Wolves gained ground when the Trojans went scoreless for three minutes, then two minutes, pulling within 67-59 on a 3-pointer by Sean Gardner with 59 seconds left to play. Gardner hit three free throws in the final three seconds, but the Red Wolves couldn't catch up.
Kevin Thomas scored 16 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and had four steals for Troy. John Walton III added 12 points, and Wesley Person Jr. 11.
Gardner led Arkansas State (9-13, 4-9) with 20 points, including seven 3-pointers, and Anthony Livingston and Cameron Golden scored 13 apiece.