Arkansas State wins Saturday hoops doubleheader

JONESBORO (ASU) - Arkansas State won a Saturday hoops doubleheader at the Convocation Center. John Brady's Red Wolves beat Central Arkansas 71-64, while Brian Boyer's Red Wolves pulled away to take care of Tulsa 80-70.

ASU Men 71, Central Arkansas 64

The Arkansas State men's basketball team led by 14 with 4:24 left in the game but Central Arkansas rallied late and cut the ASU lead to four with 38-seconds remaining. Still, the Red Wolves held on and were led by four starters in double-figure scirubg to take a 71-64 win over the visiting Bears.

The win moved ASU to 4-5 on the year and dropped UCA to 5-4. The game renewed a rivalry which had laid dormant since the 1952-53 season.

Junior forward Brandon Peterson led all players with 19 points and nine rebounds, which tied his season-high in scoring. Peterson was 6-8 from the floor and 7-8 from the charity stripe. Sophomore guard Ed Townsel was second on the team with 15 points while also adding five assists, five boards and four steals. Juniors Malcoln Kirkland and Trey Finn each added 10 for A-State.

"The best thing about the evening as far as I could tell is we scored 71 and they scored 64, which is the most important thing, other than that there is a lot of things within those 71 points that we could have done better," said ASU head coach John Brady. "At the same time, Corliss has got that team playing hard and they do some unorthodox things. In spite of those things, we still found a way to win the game, made enough stops, got enough rebounds but we have got to play better. I would much rather have what happened, us winning the game, and be able to teach and show a lot of tape on things we could have done better than to have things flipped and have gone the other way. Even though we could have played better, they had something to do with that, but it was good to win the game."

A layup by Peterson with 8:27 remaining in the first half gave ASU its largest lead of the half 26-14. ASU maintained a double-digit lead through most of the rest of the half and a pair of free throws by Townsel with six seconds left in the half gave ASU a 34-23 lead at the break. UCA had a final look at the basket, but Peterson blocked Mark Rutledge's shot into the stands to put an exclamation-point on the half.

After the break, UCA used their press to force ASU into four early turnovers which they used to cut the Red Wolves lead to four just 2:38 into the half, 37-33.

The Red Wolves were able to stretch the lead out to 14 when Kirkland dunked the ball with 4:24 left in the game. UCA chipped away at the lead, getting within four, 68-64 when Jarvis Garner hit a three-pointer with 38-seconds left.

The Bears fouled the rest of the way, but ASU made enough free throws to maintain a seven point lead and take the victory. Peterson and Adam Sterrenberg hit free throws down the stretch to maintain the lead.

The Red Wolves shot 48-percent in the contest (25-50), including going 11-22 (50%) in the second half, while holding UCA to a 41.3% (26-63). The Bears were led by Garner and Rutledge who had 13 each. ASU outrebounded UCA 39-33 but were outscored in the paint 34-32.

A-State returns to action on Wednesday when they host Seattle in a 7:05 p.m. nonconference tilt.

ASU Women 80, Tulsa 70

Junior Quinishia McDowell and sophomore Jane Morrill each scored 20 points to lead the Arkansas State Red Wolves (3-5) to an 80-70 victory over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane  (2-5) Saturday afternoon at the ASU Convocation Center.

Junior Andi Watson and sophomore Lunden Roberts scored in double-digits as well.  Watson scored 13 points, and Roberts finished with 12, with both totals being career highs.  Senior NeNe Hurst added nine points in her first appearance of the season, and her three-pointer with 12:29 remaining in the first half made her the 20th player in ASU women's basketball history to score 1,000 points in their career.

The victory avenged a 70-48 setback suffered by Arkansas State when the Red Wolves traveled to Tulsa Nov. 23.

Arkansas State trailed 61-60 until McDowell converted a three-point play with 5:20 remaining in the game to put the Red Wolves on top 63-61 and spark a 20-9 run to close out the game.  Arkansas State got to the line eight times in the final 5:20, connecting on each attempt.  For the game, the Red Wolves hit 29-of-33 free throws, shooting a season high .879.

"Obviously, we played much better today than we did two weeks ago against Tulsa," said ASU head coach Brian Boyer.  "We had some spurts where I thought we were really good.  In our three home games this year, any time our opponent has made runs at us, we have been able to answer, and today was another example of that."

"We had a lot of balance offensively and our players did a great job of focusing in on Taleya Mayberry, who had 27 points last time against us and today only had two," added Boyer.  "We were aggressive in getting to the free throw line and we did a good job of keeping them off the line."

Arkansas State led 38-26 at the half behind nine points each from Hurst and Roberts and eight from McDowell.  The Red Wolves closed the first half with a 13-2 run to take the 12-point lead into the locker room, but the Golden Hurricane scored the first six points of the second half to trim the ASU advantage to 38-32.

The Red Wolves countered with an 8-2 spurt to again go up by 12 on a McDowell layup with 16:13 remaining that made it 46-34, but Tulsa continued to chip away and took its only lead of the second half, 61-60, on a jumper from Jessica McQuin with 6:08 to play.

From there, the Red Wolves reeled off eight straight, closing the run with a three-point play from Morrill with 4:07 remaining to go up 68-61.

Morrill led Arkansas State on the boards with nine rebounds and Watson added six.  Junior Ashley Olvera added four points, four assists, three blocked shots and a steal.

Tulsa's Taylor Hooker led all scorers with 23 points.

Arkansas State will be back in action Dec. 13 when the Red Wolves host Louisiana Tech in a 7:05 p.m. game at the ASU Convocation Center.