Game 13: Arkansas State Red Wolves (7-5; 1-2 SBC) at South Alabama Jaguars (6-5; 3-0 SBC)

December 29, 2012  l  USA Mitchell Center

Mobile, Alabama  l  7:05 p.m. (CT)

AUDIO BROADCAST: EAB Sports Radio Network (107.9 KFIN-FM, flagship) – Matt Stolz (Play-By-Play) 

TV: None

Tip Off:  The Arkansas State University men’s basketball team will close out the 2012 calendar year this Saturday (Dec. 29) night when the Red Wolves visit the South Alabama Jaguars in Sun Belt Conference (SBC) action in Mobile, Ala.  The contest, which marks the first of two regular-season matchups between the league opponents, gets underway at 7:05 p.m. (CT) in the USA Mitchell Center.         

2012-13 A-StAte Ticket Information: Individual single-game ticket prices for the 2012-13 ASU men's basketball season are $12 for the upper center area, $10 for the upper side, $8 for the upper wings, $6 for children and senior citizens (age 55+), and $5 group rate purchase of 12 tickets or more.  Tickets may be purchased through the ASU Box Office by calling 870-972-2781 or 888-ASU-FANS.  Ticket information for the 2012-13 season is also available on ASU Athletics official website –

The Records: Arkansas State (7-5, 1-2 Sun Belt).  The Red Wolves ended a two-game skid with an 87-70 conference home-opening decision over Louisiana-Lafayette this past Thursday (12/27) at the ASU Convocation Center in Mobile, Ala.  A-State sports a current 5-1 home ledger while the Red Wolves are 2-4 on the road and 0-0 in neutral site encounters this season.  South Alabama (6-5, 3-0 Sun Belt). The Jaguars, who have won four of their last six outings, have won two straight following a 77-62 home conference victory over UALR last Saturday (12/22) in Mobile.  USA has presently assembled a 3-1 home ledger while sporting a 3-2 mark on the road and is 0-2 in neutral site encounters this campaign.  

The Coaches:  Arkansas State – John Brady (Bellhaven, 1976), 5th season, 68-71 (.489); Career - 349-287 (.549) – (3-3 vs. USA).  Brady was named the 2009-10 SBC Coach of the Year and the District VII Coach of the Year by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).  He served six seasons (1991-97) as head coach at Samford and then spent 10-plus seasons (1997-08) in a head coaching capacity at LSU.  Brady guided LSU to two SEC Championship titles along with four NCAA Tournament appearances, which included a Final Four appearance in the 2005-06 season.  South Alabama – (Interim) Jeff Price (Pikeville, 1981), 1st season, 1-0 (1.000); Career: 18th season, 294-186 (.613) – (0-0 vs. ASU).  Price, who had been USA’s associate head coach since August 2011, replaced the recently retired Ronnie Arrow.  Price was an assistant and the program’s recruiting coordinator at South Alabama from 1989-93 under Arrow and served as head coach at NCAA Division II West Virginia Wesleyan in the 2010-11 campaign.  Prior to WVWC, Price was a scout for the Los Angeles Clippers.  Price spent six seasons (1993-99) as Division II Lynn’s (Fla) first-ever head coach before going to Georgia Southern where he earned 1999-00 Southern Conference Coach of the Year recognition.  He also made stops at his alma mater, Pikeville (Ky.) College (1981-82), Georgia Southern (1982-83, 1986-87), Union (Ky.) College (1983-85), and Washington (1985-86, 1987-89).     

About South Alabama:  The Jaguars, who have won four of their last six outings, ran their current winning streak to two as a result of a 77-62 home conference victory over UALR last Saturday (12/22) at USA’s Mitchell Center in Mobile.  Four starters attained double-digit point totals, led by junior forward Augustine Rubit’s game-high 19 points andfreshman guard Barrington Stevens’ 17 points.  Rubit, who was recently selected as the SBC’s Player of the Week (12/18), also hauled down a game-best 10 rebounds to go with two blocked shots and assists each. 

• Augustine Rubit (18.9 ppg.), junior guard Xavier Roberson (13.6 ppg.), and sophomore guard Mychal  Ammons (12.2 ppg.) are presently the Jaguars’ top points producers this season.  Rubit (10.3 rpg.) and Ammons (7.4 rpg.) are USA’s rebounding leaders.  Nationally, Rubit is 10th in double-doubles (six), 17th in rebounds (10.3 rpg.), 40th in points (18.9 ppg.), 118th in field-goal percentage (49.7%), and 167th in free-throw percentage (81.2%).  Roberson is listed 24th in three-point field goal percentage (44.3%) and 35th in three-point field goals (2.82 avg.).  Senior forward Javier Carter ranks 32nd in blocked shots (2.4 bpg.) and 197th in steals (1.7 spg.).  USA is 92nd among the national leaders in scoring offense (72.4 ppg.), 245th in scoring defense (69.6 ppg.), and 32nd in blocked shots (5.2 bpg.).  The Jaguars are 3-1 at home, 3-2 on the road, and 0-2 at neutral sites this campaign.

• A season ago, South Alabama went 17-12 and produced a second-place 8-8 SBC East Division record for the 2011-12 campaign.  The Jaguars were 9-5 at home, 6-6 on the road, and 2-1 at neutral sites.

All-Time Series: The series, which started in the 1970-71 season, is currently tied at 17-all.  South Alabama won the first-ever meeting between the teams in 1970-71 with a 69-59 triumph.  The Red Wolves have registered a 4-6 record in the last 10 matchups, which includes a 2-4 road mark.

• ASU is averaging 64.0 points per game (320 total) to USA’s 69.8 points an outing (349 total) in the last five encounters.  The Red Wolves are scoring at a 61.3 points per game clip (184 total) in the last three road contests while the Jaguars have generated an average of 72.7 points a contest (218 total) during that span.  Four of the last 10 meetings have been decided by 10 points or more, which includes the last two.  USA notched a 74-57 home victory in last season’s (2/9/12) matchup after ASU claimed a 69-57 home decision in the 2010-11 season (12/30/10).

• In last season’s tilt (2/9) in Mobile, Ala., Ed Townsel (17 pts.) and Trey Finn (11 pts.) were the lone Red Wolves in double-figure scoring.  Darion Griswold grabbed a team-high seven rebounds while Rakeem Dickerson dished out a game-high tying four assists to go with a game-best three steals.

Scoring Machine: Junior guard Ed Townsel recorded a career-high 31 points in Thursday’s (12/27) conference home-opening win over Louisiana-Lafayette, which featured 9-15 (60%) shooting from the floor and 10-11 at the free throw line (91%).  Townsel also connected on three of six three-point shots for 50% efficiency from beyond the arc.  Townsel, whose previous career-best was 27 points set at home against Lamar earlier this season (11/25).

Double Vision: Freshman guard-forward Raeford “Gator” Worsham claimed double-figure points for the fifth time in his last six games with a season-best tying 18 points versus Louisiana-Lafayette (12/27).  Worsham, who has racked up seven double-digit scoring games to date this campaign, is averaging 12.7 points per contest (76 total) in his last six encounters.

Consistent Scorer: Ed Townsel has compiled double-digit point totals in 10 of ASU’s 12 games this campaign and is presently midst a four-game double-figure scoring streak.  In his last four outings, Townsel is averaging 21.3 points per contest (85 total).  He started out this season tallying double-digit points in his initial six encounters and produced a 17.0 points a game scoring average (102 total) in during that period.  Townsel garnered 11 double-figure scoring contests a season ago.

In The Sun Belt: The Red Wolves are 172-175 (.496) since joining the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) in the 1991-92 season, which includes a season-best 14-4 (.778) mark in the 1997-98 campaign.

• A-State is 36-17 at home, and 14-15 on the road since the 2006-07 season.

• ASU head coach John Brady has posted a 34-37 record (.479) in Sun Belt Conference contests since his arrival in the 2008-09 season, which consists of a 25-10 home ledger and a 9-27 away mark.

Ed Townsel (16.3 ppg.), Raeford Worsham (9.3 ppg.), and senior guard Marcus Hooten (9.3 ppg.) lead the Red Wolves in scoring this season.  Townsel has netted 23.0% (49-213) of ASU’s points in the three SBC matchups.  Brandon Peterson’s 9.0 rebounds per game (27 rebs.) leads the team while Worsham has registered a squad-leading 55.0% (11-20) field-goal percentage.

Red Wolf Howl Alerts: Marcus Hooten’s 11 points against Louisiana-Lafayette (12/27) was his third double-figure points output of this season and snapped a four-game single-digit points string ... Trey Finn’s game-high tying eight rebounds vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (12/27) was a personal season best, surpassing his six boards at Tennessee-Martin (11/16) and against Austin Peay (12/16) ... Trey Finn recorded two steals in the Louisiana-Lafayette contest (12/27) to up his career total at 131, which moved him into sixth place among ASU’s career leaders past Bo Brown’s (1987-89) 130 career steals ... Sophomore guard Rakeem Dickerson’s 18 steals in 12 games this season is a career season high, eclipsing his 16 thefts in 32 contests last season ... Marcus Hooten reached 500 career points vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (12/27) and has racked up a current 509-career point total in 46 games ... Ed Townsel eclipsed the century mark in three-point field goals and now has 102 three’s in 78 contests for a 1.3 average per outing.   

Last Time Out: A career-high 31 points performance from Ed Townsel was enough to vault the Red Wolves to a Sun Belt Conference (SBC) home-opening 87-70 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette this Thursday (Dec. 27) night in men’s basketball action at the ASU Convocation Center in Jonesboro, Ark.

Townsel, who surpassed his previous career-best of 27 points against Lamar at home earlier this season (11/25), helped the Red Wolves end a two-game losing string and improve to 5-1 at home.

A-State quickly started out the contest by scoring 13 unanswered points after the ULL netted the game’s initial basket.  The Red Wolves, behind Townsel’s 14 first-half points, would bump their lead up to as many as 14 (23-12) eight minutes into the game only to have the Ragin’ Cajuns storm back to get within three at 31-28 with 2:43 left in the opening stanza.  But, A-State was able to widen the gap up to eight as Townsel scored the Red Wolves’ last four points of the half to give ASU a 38-30 advantage at the break.  

Much like the start of the contest, ASU came out strong in the second half by outscoring ULL 29-11 in the first nine-plus minutes to go up by 26 points at 67-41 with 10:40 left to be played.  The Ragin’ Cajuns chipped away at the Red Wolves’ lead in the next five minutes to pull within 11 (70-59) at the 5:40 mark, but would get no closer as ASU scored six straight to build a 17-point advantage at 76-59 with 3:34 remaining.  ULL narrowed the margin to 11 points (77-66) one more time as 2:24 was left on the clock before A-State made all eight of its free throws in the final two minutes to secure their first conference victory of the season.     

Raeford “Gator” Worsham finished with a season-high tying 18 points and Marcus Hooten tossed in 11 to join Townsel as the only other ASU players recording double-figure points.  A-State’s point guards, Rakeem Dickerson and freshman Cameron Golden contributed nine and eight points, respectively as all eight Red Wolves who played scored.  Brandon Peterson and Trey Finn both shared team-high rebounding honors with seven apiece and Townsel grabbed six boards to go with a game-high tying three steals.

ASU shot 46 percent from the floor by going 26-for-56 and was six-of-18 in three-pointers for 33 percent efficiency.  The Red Wolves went to the charity stripe 37 times and make good 29 free throws for 78 percent.  ULL hit six-of-20 triples for 30 percent and chalked up a 44 percent in shooting with a 29-of-66 performance.  The Ragin’ Cajuns were six-of-10 from the line for 60 percent.  Arkansas State would also claim the advantage on the glass, outrebounding ULL by 10 boards (41-31).

2012-13 Reference Guide Now Online: The 2012-13 A-State men's basketball reference guide is now available to view online in a PDF format and contains information for all devoted Red Wolves fans.  The 110-page publication features such information as 2012-13 student-athlete rosters, season preview, student-athlete biographies, coaching staff bios, 2011-12 season statistics, and all-time series records along with career, season, and game statistical records.  The annual publication is a production of the ASU Sports Information Office under the direction of director Jerry Scott along with assistant directors Chris Graddy and Joe Gorby.  To view the 2012-13 ASU men's basketball publication online, please visit the respective link - 2012-13 Arkansas State Men's Basketball Reference Guide.

A Season Ago: A-State concluded the 2011-12 campaign at 14-20 overall and posted a fifth-place 6-10 mark in the Sun Belt Conference’s (SBC) West Division.  The Red Wolves were 10-5 at home, 2-14 on the road, and 2-1 at neutral sites a season ago.

Up Next: The Red Wolves will begin a three-game Sun Belt Conference homestand, starting Thursday, Jan. 3, against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders in Jonesboro, Ark.  Game time is set for 7:05 p.m. (CT) at the ASU Convocation Center.  Following that contest, A-State will square off against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers on Saturday, Jan. 5, at 7:05 p.m. (CT) in a game which will be televised on both ESPN3 and ESPN Full Court.