WASHINGTON (11/17/2016) – Deven Simms, fouled after stealing an inbounds pass, made two free throws with 12 seconds remaining to help Arkansas State hold off a furious Georgetown rally for a 78-72 victory on Thursday night at McDonough Arena.
A-State (2-1) built a lead of 23 points late in the first half before carrying a 48-29 advantage to halftime. Georgetown used a 22-7 run, capped by two free throws from L.J. Peak, to close within 74-72 with 50 seconds remaining.
A free throw by C.J. Foster made it 75-72 before Simms' steal and free throws. A-State got the ball back on a charge then lost it on a steal by Jagan Mosley, but Pryor's rushed 3-pointer with four seconds left missed.
“Georgetown has a tremendous team and they are going to be great, but for us as a team we’ve got great guys that have competed since day one,” said A-State head coach Grant McCasland. “Our seniors (Donte Thomas and Devin Carter) told me they wanted to win and they brought it tonight. That’s why we won and I’m fortunate to coach this team. I’m proud of the steps we’ve taken to this point and I’m excited about where we will go from here.”
Devin Carter had a game-high 25 points, 19 of which came in the first half. The Red Wolves had four others finish in double figures with Simms posting 13 points off the bench. Donte Thomas had 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists while Rashad Lindsey added 12 points and three rebounds. Jessie Govan led the Hoyas with 20 points while Peak had 18.
A-State, which shot 65.4 percent (17-26) in the first half, finished 55 percent (28-51) from the floor and 50 percent (6-12) from 3-point range. Georgetown finished 41 percent (23-56) from the field, but just 15 percent (3-20) from 3-point range.
The Red Wolves raced to an 8-2 lead over the first four minutes, but Georgetown pulled back to 8-6 with a layup and dunk. A-State followed with a 24-6 run over the next 7:43 to take a commanding 32-12 advantage. The lead swelled to 23 points, 47-24, on a dunk by Carter with 1:20 left in the half.
A-State shot a blistering 65.4 percent (17-26) from the field in the first half, including 5-for-7 (71.4 percent) from beyond the arc, to build the advantage. Defensively, A-State held the Hoyas to 34.6 percent (9-26) in the first half and 0-for-6 from 3-point range.
The Hoyas scored the first six points of the second half to trim the Red Wolves lead to 48-35, but Lindsey drained a long 3-pointer with the shot clock expiring to rebuild an 18-point advantage. A-State maintained a 10-point lead until Rodney Pryor hit a jumper with 4:31 left to make it 73-65. Georgetown held A-State to just one point, a free throw by Lindsey, over the next 3:41 to cut the deficit to two, but the Red Wolves ultimately prevailed.
A-State ended the night with a 36-30 edge on the glass and outscored the Hoyas 38-34 in the paint. The Red Wolves had 18 turnovers against 11 for the Hoyas, but held a 15-14 advantage in points off turnovers. Helped by Simms’ 13 points off the bench, A-State outscored Georgetown in bench points 25-11.
The Red Wolves continue the road trip Saturday in West Point, N.Y. taking on Army at 5:00 p.m. (CT).
Thursday’s win marks the sixth all-time road win against a power conference opponent at the time of the game (Big East, Big 12, Big 10, SEC, ACC, Pac-12). The previous wins were: at Mississippi State (69-55 | 2014), at Ole Miss (74-69 | 2003), at Stanford (60-59 | 1988), at Iowa (66-62 | 1985) and at Ole Miss (40-29 | 1947).
Devin Carter scored 20-plus points for the 16th time in 34 games as a Red Wolf.
Donte Thomas led the team in rebounding (7) for the third-straight game and ninth time in his career.
A-State shot 65.4 percent (17-26) in the first half, the second-straight game to shoot at least 60 percent in the first half. The Red Wolves shot 63.6 percent (21-33) on Monday against Central Baptist.
The Red Wolves have held all three opponents below 22 percent shooting from 3-point range this season. Georgetown was 3-for-20 (15 percent) while Central Baptist was 6-for-27 (22 percent) and North Dakota State was 1-for-11 (9 percent).