ARKANSAS STATE RED WOLVES
at FIU Golden Panthers
Wednesday, January 20, 2010 6:00 p.m. (CST)
U.S. Century Bank Arena (5,000) Miami, Florida
Radio: KWHF 95.9 FM "The Wolf" & AStateRedWolves.com
LiveStats & JumpTV Webcasting Available at AStateRedWolves.com
TIPPING IT OFF: The Arkansas State Red Wolves wrap up their four-game road swing with a trip to south Florida this week, taking on Florida International Wednesday before closing out the trip at Florida Atlantic Saturday afternoon. Tipoff against FIU is set for 6:00 p.m. (CST) at U.S. Century Bank Arena. All ASU games may be heard on KWHF 95.9 FM "The Wolf" and through the StateZone portion of AStateRedWolves.com. LiveStats will also be available at AStateRedWolves.com.
THE TEAMS: Arkansas State stands at 7-10 overall and 2-4 in Sun Belt Conference action heading into Wednesday's game against the Golden Panthers. In their most recent action, the Red Wolves snapped a two-game slide when they defeated North Texas 77-76 Jan. 16 in Denton, Texas. In their current four-game road trip, the Red Wolves are 1-1 with both games being decided by a single point. South Alabama edged the Red Wolves 68-67 Jan. 10 to get ASU's road trip underway. With the win over North Texas, the Red Wolves improved to 2-1 on the season in games decided by a single point and 4-2 in games decided in the last minute of play. FIU will take the court Wednesday night at 7-12 overall and 2-6 in Sun Belt play. The Golden Panthers have lost three straight heading into the game and seven of their last nine, but the seven losses have come by an average of just 10.7 points. Only in a 90-58 loss to Middle Tennessee was the Panthers' margin of defeat more than 11 points. Without the MTSU loss, FIU's average margin of defeat in the six games drops to 7.1 points.
THE FIU SERIES: FIU leads the overall series 16-5. When the two teams met during the 2008-09 season, the Golden Panthers defeated ASU twice - winning 63-51 in Jonesboro before handing the Red Wolves a 55-44 loss in Miami in the season's second matchup. The two teams met for the first time during the 1993-94 season, and the Golden Panthers reeled off seven consecutive victories before ASU got its first win in the series, a 58-57 victory in Jonesboro during the 2001-02 season. The seven-game win streak was FIU's longest in the series. Arkansas State is 1-10 against FIU in games played in Miami with the Red Wolves' only win being an 85-74 overtime victory during the 2004-05 season. FIU leads the series 6-4 in games played at the ASU Convocation Center.
THE COACHES: Arkansas State head coach Brian Boyer is in his 11th season at the helm of the Red Wolves program. Boyer holds a career record of 175-145 and has directed the Red Wolves to the Women's National Invitation Tournament four times, including three of the past six years. Boyer is assisted by Tanya Ray, Rebecca Peoples and Jennifer Sullivan. Cindy Russo is 624-320 in her 30th season as head coach at FIU. Boyer and Russo are among the career leaders in Sun Belt Conference coaching victories. Heading into the season, Russo was in third place with 94 SBC victories to her credit while Boyer was one spot behind with 89. Currently Russo has 96 SBC wins with Boyer still five victories behind at 91 and just ahead of Western Kentucky's Mary Taylor Cowles who has 90 SBC victories to her credit.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Arkansas State is currently in the middle of a four-game road swing with the Red Wolves visiting South Alabama, North Texas, FIU and Florida Atlantic. ASU is 1-1 thus far with both games being decided by a single point. The Red Wolves dropped a 68-67 decision at South Alabama Jan. 10 before bouncing back to claim a 77-76 victory at North Texas Jan. 16. The four-game road trip is the longest stretch of games on an opponents' home court since the 2003-04 season when ASU played five consecutive SBC road games. Arkansas State finished that road stretch at 3-2 on its way to a 19-10 record that year that included a 10-4 mark in SBC action and the SBC-East division title.
WINNING THE CLOSE ONES: With its 77-76 victory over North Texas Jan. 16, Arkansas State improved to 4-2 on the season in games decided in the final minute and 2-1 in games decided by a single point. Additionally, ASU is 3-0 in games this season decided in overtime.
BREAKING A TREND: With their victory at North Texas Jan. 16, the Red Wolves picked up their first victory of the season in which an opponent won the battle on the boards. Heading into the game, the Red Wolves were 0-9 on the season when being out-rebounded by their opponent. North Texas out-rebounded Arkansas State 44-40 in the game, but ASU came out on top 77-76.
AMONG THE BEST IN THE BELT: In all games played, Arkansas State is currently leading the league in rebounding offense (42.8) and offensive rebounds (17.0)...Sophomore guard Shania Hurst is the league's leader in free throw percentage (.826)...The Red Wolves have the Sun Belt's top two rebounding games this season, pulling down 71 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and 59 against South Alabama...In Sun Belt games only, ASU's 20 steals against North Texas Jan. 2 is tied for the most in any conference game this season.