JONESBORO, AR (ASU) – Junior guard Trey Finn scored a game-high 20 points including going 6-9 from three-point range to lead the Arkansas State men's basketball team to an 83-59 Sun Belt Conference win over Troy Thursday at the Convocation Center.
The win snapped a three-game skid for the Red Wolves who improved to 11-17 with a 5-8 Sun Belt Conference record. Troy fell to 8-16 on the year and is 3-10 in league games.
The Red Wolves shot a season-high 56.4% from the floor on 31-55 shooting while connecting on a season-high 11 three-point baskets (11-21, 52.4%).
Finn led four Red Wolves in double-digit scoring. Senior forward Malcoln Kirkland and junior guard Ed Townsel each had 14, while junior guard Marcus Hooten had 10 for A-State. Kirkland led all players with eight rebounds.
"Our offensive execution against the zone was excellent. We took good shots and made good shots," said ASU head coach John Brady. "We had a good combination of inside and outside against the zone. Malcoln had seven baskets right around the goal and we made some baskets to stretch them and made good decisions offensively."
The Red Wolves used a 10-0 run midway through the first half to take an 11-point lead when Hooten hit a layup with 8:03 remaining in the half, 24-13.
A-State maintained the lead through the rest of the half, taking a 35-26 lead into the locker room at the break. Hooten led ASU with nine at the half, followed by Kirkland and Peterson with eight each. Peterson also had four rebounds leading all Red Wolves.
A-State shot 48.1% (13-27) from the floor in the first half, and was 3-7 from beyond the arc (42.2%).
A layup by freshman forward Darion Griswold with 14:02 left in the game put ASU up by double-digits for the final time, 48-38 over Troy.
Jumpers by freshmen Johnny Zuppardo and Rakeem Dickerson and a free throw by Hooten in the final four minutes gave ASU a 26-point lead, its largest of the game.
In the second half, the Red Wolves shot 64.3% from the floor on 18-28 shooting and were 8-14 (57.1%) from three-point range for 48 second-half points.
"The timing of the win was great for us," added Brady. "We've got a home Saturday and we are going to see a lot of zone and this was a good prelim for that game. Confidence was certainly with us the way we played tonight and I will be surprised if we don't play well Saturday. I've told our team that we can beat any body in the league. There are teams that can beat us also, but we are not so far away that we can't beat anybody in the league."
The Red Wolves outscored Troy 38-28 in the paint and outrebounded them 29-25. ASU also forced Troy into 14 turnovers, which they converted into 17 points, while only committing seven themselves.
ASU will host its final home game of the season Saturday when they face FIU at the Convocation Center. Tip off against the Golden Panthers is set for 7:05 p.m.