YPSILANTI, Mich. (11/16/17) – Deven Simms notched his first career double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds, but 23 turnovers by the Arkansas State men’s basketball team contributed to a 76-59 defeat at Eastern Michigan Thursday night.

The Red Wolves saw their record drop to 1-2 while Eastern Michigan improved to 3-0 on the season. Simms scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half, shooting 7-for-9 from the floor. Tamas Bruce was the only other A-State player in double figures as he finished with 15 points. James Thompson IV posted 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Eagles while Paul Jackson (21) and Tim Bond (15) also reached double figures.

A-State converted just five field goals (5-25) in the first half, but finished the night at 39 percent (20-51). The Red Wolves struggled from 3-point range hitting just 3-of-16 (19 percent). Eastern Michigan shot 48 percent (28-58), but also struggled beyond the arc hitting only 4-of-18 (22 percent). Eastern Michigan (3-0) held a 36-35 edge on the glass, but won the turnover battle 23-15 for a points off turnovers margin of 24-11.

How It Happened (First Half):

A-State hit just 5-of-25 (20 percent) from the field in the half, with three of those coming from 3-point range. After building a 7-3 lead, Eastern Michigan outscored the Red Wolves 17-3 to build a 10-point advantage. During the run, A-State was 0-for-6 from the field with four turnovers.

The Red Wolves cut the deficit to 20-15, but Eastern Michigan took a 37-24 advantage to halftime. The Eagles finished 48.4 percent (15-31) from the field, but 2-for-10 from 3-point range.

Free throws kept A-State in the game as the Red Wolves knocked down 11-of-15 (73.3 percent) at the charity stripe compared to 5-of-14 (35.7 percent) for the Eagles. Simms, who led A-State with seven points in the half, was 7-for-8 at the line.

A-State turned the ball over 12 times in the first half that were turned into 11 points for Eastern Michigan. A-State was able to force nine turnovers, but scored just six points off those miscues. The Eagles dominated the paint in the first by a score of 18-4.

How It Happened (Second Half):

The Red Wolves opened the second half on a 6-0 run to get within 37-30, but EMU used an 11-2 run to build a 14-point advantage. A-State answered with a 13-3 run to trail 53-49, but a 7-2 answer from Eastern Michigan put the game to rest.

A-State shot 58 percent (15-26) in the second half and only attempted two 3-pointers, but committed 11 turnovers. Eastern Michigan turned those 11 miscues into 13 points. Simms scored 16 points and Tamas Bruce added 13 in the second half as the Red Wolves poured in 28 points in the paint.

EMU was 48 percent (13-27) from the field in the half and improved at the charity stripe hitting 11-of-17 (65 percent). A-State was 5-of-10 at the line in the second half.

Notables:

  • Deven Simms equaled his career high in points (23) and rebounds (10), but recorded his first career double-double. It was the second-straight outing of 20 or more points and the fifth of his career. 
  • A-State shot 20 percent (5-25) in the first half, the first time the Red Wolves had shot 20 percent or less in a half since January 31, 2015 in the second half at Georgia State (19 percent).
  • The Red Wolves committed 20 or more turnovers (23) for the first time since having 20 at Minnesota last season.

Quoting Coach Balado:

“When we were down 13 at the half, I looked at the shots and saw 14 of the 25 shots were 3-pointers and I told the guys that was too many. In the second half, offensively we did what we wanted to do from the beginning. If we had done that from the start, it would’ve been a lot closer at half. When you go on the road, you can’t give the opponent a 13-point cushion and try to fight back. It’s impossible to win on the road playing that way. We are a good free throw shooting team and we only shot 64 percent tonight, which hurt us as well.”

“Guys didn’t do what we asked them to do tonight. Some guys didn’t play great, and I’m not talking about offensively, I’m talking about turnovers. We had 23 as a team and that’s obviously way too many. When you do that, it’s going to be tough to win many games.”

Up Next:

A-State returns to First National Bank Arena to host Howard on Monday at 7:00 p.m.