|A-State Visits Rival UALR Saturday in Road Finale|
• The Arkansas State University men's basketball team will take its current three-game winning streak to UALR this Saturday (March 1) as the Red Wolves and Trojans square off in an instate rivalry Sun Belt Conference (SBC) matchup at UALR's Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock, Ark.
A-State has won six of its last seven games and is 7-7 on the road this season going into its last regular-season appearance of the 2013-14 campaign. The Red Wolves start the month of March hoping to continue their success achieved in February with a 6-1 ledger, which ended with a 65-39 home non-conference decision over instate Lyon College last Tuesday (2/25).
Senior forward Kirk Van Slyke's 15.7 ppg. is tops among A-State's current scoring leaders. Senior guard Melvin Johnson III is averaging 14.9 ppg. and senior forward Kendrick Washington is scoring at a 10.0 ppg. clip. In rebounding, Washington's 6.2 rpg. leads the Red Wolves and Van Slyke has pulled down 6.0 rpg. to go with a squad-best 29 blocked shots. Sophomore guard Cameron Golden has dished out a team-leading 71 assists and senior guard Ed Townsel has a team-high 33 steals.
• A-State leads 48-29 in the all-time series. A-State is 17-17 on the road, 29-10 at home, and 2-2 at neutral sites.
• First Meeting – A-State 36, UALR 22 - (1927-28)
• Last Meeting – at A-State 77, UALR 49 - (1/25/14)
• Last A-State win – at A-State 77, UALR 49 - (1/25/14)
• Last UALR win – at UALR 78, A-State 71 - (3/2/13)
• Last A-State win at UALR – A-State 75, at UALR 64 (1/29/11)
• Last UALR win at home – at UALR 78, A-State 71 (3/2/13)
• Last Season – A-State won 82-62 (2/14) at home; Lost 78-71 (3/2) at UALR
• Current Streak – A-State, Won 1
• Notes – A-State has won two of the last three matchups after dropping the previous three ... The Red Wolves are 1-4 in their last five road appearances and have lost their last two away encounters – 62-60 (2/25/12) and 78-71 (3/2/13) ... The Red Wolves are averaging 71.2 ppg. (356 pts.) in their last five outings to UALR’s 62.8 ppg. (314 pts.) average ... A-State won the first 17 meetings (1927-28–1/10/80) ... Eight of the last 13 games have been decided by seven points or less, including five of the last eight ... The Red Wolves are 6-7 in their last 13 contests – 4-2 at home, 1-4 on the road, and 1-1 at neutral sites ... Brandon Reed is averaging 12.3 ppg. (49 pts.) in four career games while Kendrick Washington has a 9.7 ppg. (29 pts.) average in three outings. Washington has a 7.0 rpg. (21 rebs.) average and Reed 6.5 rpg. (26 rebs.).
• UALR snapped a five-game losing skid with a 62-55 league win at Troy (Ala.) Thursday (2/27) and are 4-6 in its last 10 contests. The Trojans are 6-5 at home, 6-9 on the road and 1-1 at neutral sites this season.
• Senior forward Will Neighbour (16.3 ppg.), sophomore guard Josh Hagins (12.3 ppg.), and sophomore forward James White (10.9 ppg.) lead UALR in scoring as the three have combined to produce 51.1 percent (1,002-1,961) of the team’s points. Neighbour also leads the Trojans in rebounds (7.0 rpg.) and blocked shots (27) while Hagins is UALR’s leader in assists (88) and steals (33).
• UALR ranks 74th among the NCAA-I statistical leaders in free throws made (485) and is 75th in free throw percentage (72.6) thru games of Feb. 27. The Trojans are 106th in free throws attempts (668), 123rd in total rebounds (1,011), 214th in scoring offense (70.0 ppg.) and 265th in scoring defense (73.6 ppg.). Will Neighbour ranks 98th in field goal percentage (49.8), 172nd in points per game (16.3), 194th in rebounds per game (7.0), and 250th in blocked shots per game (1.08). Junior guard Ben Dillard is 120th in free throw percentage (82.7).
• A season ago, UALR compiled a 17-15 overall record and posted a second-place 11-9 Sun Belt Conference West Division mark. The Trojans were 3-10 on the road, 13-3at home, and 1-2 in neutral site contests.
• Head coach Steve Shields, who’s the all-time winningest coach in UALR’s history, has guided the Trojans to six conference championships and one NCAA Tournament appearance since being named to his current position in April 2003. The 2003-04 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year served as an assistant coach at UALR from 2000-03 after spending 1996-00 as head coach at McLennan (Texas) Junior College. Shields was tabbed as the Texas Junior College Coach of the Year and the JUCO Region V Coach of the Year both in 1998. He had assistant coaching stints at McLennan Community College (1990-93), Pensacola (Fla.) Junior College (1993-94), and Kilgore (Texas) Junior College (1995-96).
• Arkansas State has won six of its last seven games to date and is averaging 75.4 ppg. (528 pts.) while allowing 63.4 ppg. (444 pts.) for a +12.0 points per game difference. The Red Wolves are shooting 45.9 percent (161-351) from the floor while their opponent has connected on 44.2 percent (159-360) in field goal attempts during the six-game stretch.
SUCCESS ON THE ROAD
• A-State’s seven road victories (7-7 away record) to date this season represent the program’s most since 1997-98 campaign when the Red Wolves posted a 7-7 road ledger en route to a 20-9 season. A-State’s most road wins dating back to the 1974-75 season were eight (8-7 record) in the 1986-87 campaign.
VAN SLYKE EARNS WEEKLY HONOR
• Kirk Van Slyke has been named this week’s (2/24) College Sports Madness’ Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week for his performance in the Red Wolves’ two conference home wins this past week. Van Slyke scored a game-high 23 points with six rebounds against UT Arlington last Thursday (2/20) and netted 14 points with five boards versus Texas State last Saturday (2/22). The 6-10 frontcourt player presently is 48th in field goal percentage (54.0%) and 116th in free throw percentage (82.9%) among the NCAA-I national leaders thru Feb. 27 games while ranking 206th in points per game (15.7 ppg.), and 234th in blocked shots per game (1.16).
• Ed Townsel is one point shy of moving into a 19th-place tie with Brandon Peterson (2009- 13, 1,098 career points) among A-State’s all-time points leaders. Townsel, who has presently scored 1,097 career points in 123 games for an 8.9 points per game average, tallied 14 points in the Red Wolves’ home win over Lyon College Tuesday (2/25) to surpass Fred Shepherd (1989-93; 1,085 career points) for 20th place. Townsel has compiled 230 points this season in 26 games (8.8 ppg.) after racking up a career season-best and team-leading 407 points in 31 outings last season (13.1 ppg.).
THREE BALL FREQUENCY
• A-State has made 229 three-point field goals in 586 attempts (39.1%) this season to date which represents the program’s highest total in a single season since the 2006-07 campaign when the Red Wolves made 241 three-pointers in 608 attempts for 39.6 percent efficiency. A-State is 12 three-point field goals away from tying the school-record 241 triples set by the 2002-03 and 2006-07 teams.
SUN BELT BREAKDOWN
• The Red Wolves are averaging 75.4 ppg. (528 pts.) in their last seven SBC games compared to 76.9 ppg. (538 pts.) in their initial seven league contests. A-State is allowing 68.1 ppg. (477 pts.) the last seven after giving up 71.0 ppg. (497 pts.) in the first seven. Melvin Johnson III is averaging 18.9 ppg. (132 pts.) in last seven league outings and netted 10.6 ppg. (74 pts.) in initial seven. The Red Wolves have made 44.6% (66-148) in three pointers the last seven and were 36.1% (60-166) in their first seven matchups.
• A-State is 11-15 (.423) in March contests dating back to the 1999-00 season, which included a 1-2 record last season. The Red Wolves are 2-0 at home, 0-4 on the road, and 9-11 at neutral sites. The 2006-07 and 2011-12 teams posted a program-best 2-1 record for the month.
• Arkansas State will close out its 2013-14 regular season schedule with a three-game Sun Belt Conference homestand, beginning next Tuesday, March 4, against the Georgia State Panthers in Jonesboro, Ark. A 7:05 p.m. (CT) start is slated for the contest, which can be heard live on the EAB Red Wolves Sports Radio Network via flagship KFIN 107.9 FM. Matt Stolz will be handling the play-by-play duties.
2013-14 SUN BELT CONFERENCE COACHES POLL
• A-State was chosen to finish third place in the 2013-14 Sun Belt Conference Coaches Preseason Poll, which was released Oct. 30 by the conference office. The Red Wolves totaled 74 points in voting conducted by the conference's 10 head coaches.
REED AND TOWNSEL EARN SBC PRESEASON RECOGNITION
2013-14 A-STATE MEN'S BASKETBALL TICKET INFORMATION
• Individual single-game prices are $25 for lower level, $12 for the upper center area, $10 for the upper side, $8 for the upper wings and ends, $6 for children and senior citizens (age55+), and $5 group rate purchase of 12 tickets or more.
•Tickets may be purchased through the A-State Central Box Office by calling 870-972-2781 or 888-ASU-FANS or by ordering online at www.astate.edu/tickets. Ticket information for the 2013-14 season is also available on A-State Athletics’ official website – www.AStateRedWolves.com.
• A number of convenient and affordable mini-plan and group tickets are also available for purchase. Click on this link for more information.
A-STATE BASKETBALL GAME PROMOTIONS
• A number of exciting game promotions will be held throughout the 2013-14 season. Please visit 2013-14 GameDay Promotions. For more information, contact the Arkansas State Athletics Marketing Department at 870-972-2943 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.