JONESBORO, Ark. (2/25/14) – For the third game in a row, the Arkansas State University men’s basketball team came out on top as the Red Wolves limited Lyon College to an arena-record 15 second-half points en route to a decisive 65-39 non-conference victory this Tuesday (Feb. 25) night at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro, Ark.
Arkansas State, which is 17-9 overall this season with the win, set a Convocation Center single-game record for the fewest second-half points allowed by holding Lyon College to 15 in the second frame. The 1995-96 A-State squad held the mark as Texas-Pan American scored only 18 second-half points in a Red Wolves’ 46-38 decision on Feb. 8, 1996.
Senior guard Brandon Reed earned game-high scoring honors with 16 points, which consisted of 5-7 shooting from the floor and 4-4 at the free throw line to go with two three-pointers. Senior guard Ed Townsel scored in double digits for the third time in his last four games with 14 points, highlighted by six-of-nine shooting from the floor. Senior forwards Kirk Van Slyke and Kendrick Washington recorded 11 points each for A-State, which made 42.6 percent (23-54) of its field goals in the contest.
“We weren’t real sharp offensively tonight and not aggressive as we have been,” said A-State head coach John Brady. “I was pleased with our second half and they forced us to guard tonight which was good work for us. Give credit to Lyon for how they played us and made us defend for extended periods of time.
“I’m glad that team (Lyon) played like it did because it will prepare us for this Saturday’s game against UALR,” added Brady.
A-State, which held a 31-24 advantage at intermission, was able to increase its margin to double figures less than three minutes into the second half and would proceed to take a 23-point lead, 50-27, with 11:26 left to be played as Kirk Van Slyke converted a three-point play. The Red Wolves built their largest lead of the half with just under five minutes remaining at 31 points, 60-29, following a three-ball from Melvin Johnson III. From there, A-State finished out the game’s final stretch holding no less than a 26-point cushion.
The opening 20 minutes of play, which featured six ties and lead changes apiece, started with A-State leading just under five minutes into the contest before the Scots tied the game. The teams exchanged leads over the next seven minutes before the Red Wolves snapped a 21-all tie on a Brandon Reed layup with 6:48 remaining in the first stanza. A-State was down by a deuce, 21-19, at the nine-minute mark before reeling off 12 unanswered points in five minutes to claim a 31-21 advantage with 4:05 on the clock. Reed’s bucket would ignite eight-point spurt during the Red Wolves’ scoring surge. Lyon’s Riley Jenkins, who had 15 points (5-9 three’s) at the break, drained a three pointer with 1:43 left to account for the final points in the opening half. For A-State, Brandon Reed netted 12 points in as many minutes with a five-for-six shooting performance in the stanza. Both teams connected on 42.9 percent in the first half as A-State went 12-of-28 from the floor and Lyon made good on nine-of-21 attempts.
A-State would conclude the contest shooting 35 percent (7-20) in three pointers and hit on 12-of-19 free throws (63.2 percent) while the Red Wolves’ defense forced 16 turnovers. The Scots made 35.7 percent (15-42) of their field goal attempts, but went to the free throw line only eight times and converted three times for a 37.5 percent success rate. On the glass, A-State outrebounded the visitors by a 35-30 margin as Kirk Van Slyke’s six caroms was a team high and sophomore forward Kelvin Downs pulled down five boards.
Guard Riley Jenkins’ 15 points paced Lyon College, who was playing in its second straight game in as many nights. Center Ben Worlow notched a pair of sevens in points and rebounds. The Scots had their four-game winning string come to an end and even their overall record to 15-15 as a result of the setback.
The win represented the fifth home win a row for A-State, which is now 10-2 at home this season. The Red Wolves also ended up 8-4 in non-conference competition for the 2013-14 campaign. Individually, Ed Townsel’s 14 points vaulted the backcourt standout into 20th place among A-State’s all-time points leaders and his 1,097 career points total to date is one shy of tying Brandon Peterson (2009-13) for 19th place.
A-State returns to Sun Belt Conference (SBC) action this Saturday (March 1) night as the Red Wolves square off against instate rival UALR in Little Rock, Ark. The game, which represents A-State’s final regular-season road appearance for the 2013-14 season, starts at 7 p.m. (CT) from UALR’s Jack Stephens Center and can be heard live on the EAB Red Wolves Sports Radio Network per flagship KFIN 107.9 FM as Matt Stolz calls the action.
Arkansas State men’s basketball is on Twitter. Follow head coach John Brady (@JohnBrady_Coach) and the program’s official Twitter account (@RedWolvesHoops) to get insider news, information, and team updates. The Red Wolves are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RedWolvesMBB.
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