JONESBORO, Ark. (ASU) – A three-pointer from Arkansas State University's Ed Townsel with 2.4 seconds to play led the Red Wolves to a thrilling 73-70 triumph over St. Bonaventure this Saturday (Dec. 8) afternoon in front of an ASU Convocation Center crowd of 2,378 fans in Jonesboro, Ark.
The victory kept ASU's perfect home record intact at 3-0 as the Red Wolves ended a two-game losing skid in the process.
"It was a good college basketball game to coach and a great game to watch," said ASU head coach John Brady. "The first 20 minutes of the game was the best we've played this season and that's how we need to play to beat quality teams."
A steal and layup by freshman guard Raeford "Gator" Worsham with tied the game up at 70 with 41.3 seconds remaining. Following an A-State timeout, the Bonnies' Chris Johnson misfired on a three-point try with 11 seconds left and Ed Townsel grabbed the defensive rebound. Townsel then dribbled into the right side of the St. Bonaventure frontcourt and crossed over to the left where he pulled up from just left of the key from 24 feet out and drew nothing but net. The Bonnies had the final possession following a timeout, but Demitrius Conger's long jumper from the right wing hit off the iron as time expired.
"It felt like it was a great shot when it left my hand and it felt even better when I made it," said Ed Townsel, who also connected on a last second game-tying three-point shot in overtime earlier this season (Nov. 16) in ASU's three-overtime victory at Tennessee-Martin.
The Red Wolves, who were without the services of junior forward Kendrick Washington due to an injury, opened the non-conference contest with a 13-4 lead through the first seven minutes and would hold a 17-point advantage (42-25) at the 1:32 mark en route to claiming a 42-28 lead at the half. A-State shot a 59% from the floor in the first period while the Bonnies connected on only 28% of their shots.
In the second half, St. Bonaventure outscored the Red Wolves 12-5 in the opening six minutes to cut ASU's lead to 47-42 with 13:54 left in the game. A-State continued to hold a slim margin over the Bonnies for next six minutes until SBC's Charlon Kloof knocked down a triple to even things up at 56-all at the second half's 7:49 mark. The teams exchanged the lead four times in the next two-plus minutes as the Bonnies proceeded to go up by four at 67-63 with 3:39 to be played. ASU bounced back from the deficit by scoring five of the next six points in just over a one minute span as Ed Townsel drained a triple with 2:04 showing on the clock to tied the game up at 68-apiece.
Brandon Peterson and Raeford Worsham led the Red Wolves with 18 points each and werejoined in double-digits by sophomore guard Rakeem Dickerson with 12 a career-high tying points. Peterson also recorded his fourth double-double of this season by hauling down a game-leading 13 rebounds to go with his 18-point performance.
Chris Johnson's 19 points for St. Bonaventure led all scorers while Matthew Wright pumped in 13 and Charlon Kloof provided 10 points. Demitrius Conger chalked up a squad-high 12 rebounds for the Bonnies to go with eight points.
ASU concluded the day shooting 46.2% for the game as a team with a 24-of-57 shooting effort and St. Bonaventure hit for 46.2% by going 24-of-52. The Red Wolves were five-of-17 (29.4%) beyond the arc and 20-of-25 (80.0%) at the free throw stripe compared to SBU's six-of-24 (69.6%) effort from long range and 16-of-23 (69.6%) showing at the charity line.
The Red Wolves improved to 5-3 overall this season with their second consecutive win over the Bonnies and are now 5-1 in non-league encounters. St. Bonaventure had its two-game winning streak snapped with the loss as the Bonnies' record dips to 5-3 on the season.
A-State continues on its current homestand next Sunday, Dec. 16, as the Red Wolves entertain the Austin Peay State Governors in a 2:05 p.m. (CT) non-conference outing at the ASU Convocation Center in Jonesboro. Tickets for the game can be purchased by calling the ASU Ticket Office at (870) 972-27891 or 1-888-ASU-FANS. Fans may also visit the A-State Athletics website at www.RedWolves.com<http://www.RedWolves.com> and click on the tickets icon located in the upper right corner of the homepage to place their game ticket order.