JONESBORO (ASU) – Junior guard Trey Finn scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, both season highs, to collect his fifth career double-double and lead the Arkansas State men's basketball team past Tennessee-Martin 63-45 Thursday night at the Convocation Center.
The Red Wolves picked up their first victory of the young season, running their overall record to 1-2 and their home record to 1-1. UT Martin (0-3) dropped its third consecutive road game to start the year.
The only other A-State player to join Finn in double figures was junior guard Marcus Hooten, who added 13 points. Senior center Malcoln Kirkland recorded seven points and eight rebounds for ASU, which finished the game with a 41-28 advantage on the boards.
The Red Wolves held a 23-20 halftime lead despite shooting just 25 percent from the field and recording nine turnovers, but outscored the Skyhawks 40-25 in the second half while cutting down its miscues and increasing its shooting percentage to .593.
The first half was back-and-forth with four ties and five lead changes, but A-State went on a 10-3 run to start the second half and take its first double-figure lead at 33-23 with 14:53 left to play.
Still leading 41-32 almost midway through the second half, the Red Wolves put together a 12-4 run over a five-minute stretch to extend its lead to 17 points, 53-36. The Skyhawks were unable to get closer than 14 points over the final seven minutes.
"I thought our effort was good, even the first half I thought we tried," said ASU head coach John Brady. "It's amazing when you make a few shots how it changes the whole complexity of the game and it keeps them playing, but that is just the nature of the game. Making a few the second half certainly uplifted our team. We shot almost 60-percent from the floor, only had five turnovers, rebounded the ball pretty good and that is winning basketball and that is what this team needs to develop."
ASU finished the game with a season-best .426 shooting percentage, while holding UT Martin to 36 percent from the field. The Red Wolves connected on 5-of-15 three-point attempts for a .333 mark and was 12-of-18 at the charity stripe.
The Skyhawks were led by Mike Liabo with 10 points, while Myles Taylor added eight points and a team-high eight rebounds.
ASU now begins a two-game road swing, facing Ohio on Nov. 20 at 1 p.m. and Louisville on Nov. 22 at 6 p.m.