SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (11/22/10) – The Arkansas State men's basketball team stormed back from a 13-point deficit in the first half but were unable to climb completely out of that hole, falling to Pacific 77-70 in the consolation round of the 2010 Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tipoff Monday at the JQH Arena.
ASU fell to 0-4 on the season while Pacific improved to 3-1 with the win.
"We did certain things well, but we didn't do enough things well consistently," said ASU head coach John Brady. "We won the rebounding battle tonight but we missed so many close-in shots and missed open perimeter shots. We have got to defend better and play more consistently offensively."
Junior forward Malcoln Kirkland led four Red Wolves in double-digit scoring with 14 and also had four blocked-shots, both career-highs. Junior forward Martavius Adams and senior guard Donald Boone each chipped in 12 points while sophomore forward Brandon Peterson had 10 and led ASU on the boards with nine rebounds.
Out of the gate, Pacific went up 12-0 but the Red Wolves battled back to shrink their lead to only two points when Adams hit a jumper at the 3:33 mark of the first half. The Red Wolves tied the game on a jumper by Kirkland with 1:14 left to go in the frame.
Demetrece Young hit a three for Pacific with only three-seconds remaining in the half but freshman backup point guard Edward Townsel got the ball on the inbounds and hit a last-second shot from beyond the mid court line to shrink Pacific's lead to only four at the half, 35-31.
Junior guard Daniel Bryant and Adams led Arkansas State with eight points at the break, while Brandon Peterson and Malcoln Kirkland had six each. Peterson had seven rebounds in the first frame and three assists leading the team in both categories.
Townsel finished the game with seven points going 4-4 from the charity stripe.
As a team, ASU was 18-22 at the free-throw line, which was a season-high shooting 81.8% from the charity stripe. From the field, ASU was 23-58 in the contest (.397) but did shoot 44.4% in the second half connecting on 12-27 from the floor.
ASU outrebounded the Tigers 38-32 and won the battle in the paint 24-18. ASU also capitalized on second chance points, scoring 18 to Pacific's 11.
ASU continues action at the NIT Season Tipoff playing Pepperdine on Tuesday. Tipoff against the Wave is set for 4:30 p.m. at the JQH Arena.