ASU Men's Basketball hits road to battle Middle Tennessee Thursday

From Arkansas State University

Game 23: Arkansas State Red Wolves (14-8, 8-5 Sun Belt West Division) at
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (20-4, 12-1 Sun Belt East Division)
February 7, 2013  •  Murphy Center (11,520)
Murfreesboro, Tennessee •  7 p.m. (CT)
Radio: EAB Sports Radio Network (107.9 KFIN-FM, flagship) – Matt Stolz (Play-By-Play)

Tip Off: A pair of Sun Belt Conference (SBC) Division leaders will square off this Thursday (Feb. 7) as the West Division leader Arkansas State University Red Wolves visit East Division leader the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders in Murfreesboro, Tenn.  A 7 p.m. (CT) tipoff is scheduled for the matchup at MTSU's Murphy Center, which will be televised on ESPN 3.  The matchup will represent the second and final regular-season meeting between the teams for the 2012-13 campaign.

2012-13 A-StAte MBB Ticket Info: Tickets for the 2012-13 ASU men's basketball season are on sale.  Individual single-game prices are $12 for the upper center area, $10 for the upper side, $8 for the upper wings, $6 for children and senior citizens (age 55+), and $5 group rate purchase of 12 tickets or more.  Tickets may bepurchased through the ASU Box Office by calling 870-972-2781 or 888-ASU-FANS.  2012-13 ticket information is available on ASU Athletics official website –<>.

The Records: Arkansas State (14-8, 8-5 Sun Belt West Division).  The Red Wolves extended their current winning streak to three straight with a 75-66 overtime decision over North Texas last Saturday (2/2) at the ASU Convocation Center in Jonesboro, Ark.  ASU is 3-6 on the road, 11-2 at home, and 0-0 at neutral sites to date for the 2012-13 campaign.  Middle Tennessee (20-4, 12-1 Sun Belt East Division).  The Blue Raiders won their ninth consecutive game with a 73-56 conference win at Florida Atlantic last Saturday (2/2) in Boca Raton, Fla.  MTSU, which has won 13 of its last 14 contests, is 12-0 at home, 8-3 on the road, and 0-1 at neutral sites this season.  A season ago, MTSU registered a 27-7 record overall with a first-place 14-2 SBC East Division mark.

The Coaches: Arkansas State – John Brady (Bellhaven, 1976), 5th season, 75-74 (.503); Career - 356-290 (.551) – (4-3 vs. MTSU).  Brady was named the 2009-10 SBC Coach of the Year and the District VII Coach of the Year by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).  He served six seasons (1991-97) as head coach at Samford and then spent 10-plus seasons (1997-08) in a head coaching capacity at LSU.  Brady guided LSU to two SEC Championship titles along with four NCAA Tournament appearances, which included a Final Four appearance in the 2005-06 season.
 Middle Tennessee – Kermit Davis (Mississippi State, 1982), 11th season, 200-136 (.595); Career – 18th season, 337-211 (.615) – (11-6 vs. ASU).  Davis, a two-time (2003 and 2012) SBC Coach of the Year Award recipient, is the program's all-time winningest coach and ranks second among active SBC coaches in league victories.  The former LSU associate head coach for five seasons under John Brady earned the 2012 NABC District 24 Coach of the Year honors along with 2008 and 2010 College Insider SBC Coach of the Year accolades.  He also has served as head coach at Southwest Mississippi CC (1984-86), Idaho (1988-90 and 1996-97), Texas A&M (1990-91), and Chipola JC (1993-94).  Davis was tabbed as the Big Sky Conference's Coach of the Year twice (1989 and 1990) at Idaho.

All-Time Series: The all-time series is tied at 14-all and dates back to the 1947-48 season.  ASU dropped a 48-33 decision to the Blue Raiders in the inaugural 1947-48 meeting.
• The Red Wolves currently sport a 4-4 record in their last eight matchups, which consists of a 1-3 road mark and a 3-1 home ledger.
• ASU posted a 66-60 overtime home win over MTSU earlier this season (1/3) as Brandon Peterson (15 pts. & nine rebs.) paved the way.  Marcus Hooten contributed 14 points while Ed Townsel compiled eight rebounds to go with nine points.
• The  teams split two 2011-12 contests as ASU dropped a 59-46 road decision in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (1/19) before claiming a 2012 SBC Tournament Second-Round 64-61 triumph over thetop-seeded Blue Raiders (3/4) at the Summit Arena in Hot Springs, Ark.
• ASU is averaging 64.9 points per game (519 pts.) to MTSU's 66.3 points an outing (530 pts.) in the last eight meetings.  Thirteen of the last 15 games have been decided by 10 points or less, including nine by four points or less.  The Red Wolves are 5-4 in those outings where the margin is four points or less.  
• Marcus Hooten (14.7 ppg.), Brandon Peterson (11.8 ppg.), and Trey Finn (10.6 ppg.) are ASU's top active career scorers vs. North Texas while Finn (7.2 rpg.) and Peterson (6.8 rpg.) lead the Red Wolves in rebounding.     

About Middle Tennessee: Senior guard Marcos Knight (12.6 ppg.) leads MTSU in scoring and is the lone player presently averaging double-figure points.  Junior forward Shawn Jones (8.9 ppg.) and senior guard Raymond Cintron (8.7 ppg.) are among the top scoring leaders as the trio have combined for 42.9% (717-1,673) of the MTSU's scoring this season.  In rebounding, junior forward Shawn Jones (5.7 rpg.) and senior guard Marcos Knight (5.5 rpg.) lead the way.
• Among the national stats leaders thru Feb. 3 games, Raymond Cintron ranks 132nd in three-point field goals (2.22 avg.) and Shawn Jones is 197th in double doubles (three).  MTSU is 28th in scoring defense (58.5 ppg.), 33rd in scoring margin (11.2), 49th in three-point field goal pct. (37.3%), 76th in field-goal pct. (45.3%), 88th in field-goal pct. defense (40.6%), and 116th in scoring offense (69.7 ppg.).
Sun Belt Conference Games: The Red Wolves are 179-178 (.501) since joining the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) in the 1991-92 season, which includes a season-best 14-4 (.778) mark in the 1997-98 campaign.
• A-State sports a 42-18 (.700) record at home and is 15-17 (.469) on the road since the 2006-07 season.
• ASU head coach John Brady has registered a 41-40 record (.506) in Sun Belt Conference contests since his arrival in the 2008-09 season, which consists of a 31-10 home ledger and a 10-29 away mark.
• The Red Wolves are 17-29 (.369) in February conference games dating back to 2006-07 – 12-10 at home and 5-19 on the road.  ASU's best mark was 5-1 in the 2010-11 season as the Red Wolves went 3-0 at home and 2-1 on the road en route to a 5-2 overall record.
• A-State posted a fifth-place 6-10 league mark in the 2011-12 season – 5-3 at home and 1-7 on the road.
• Ed Townsel (13.1 ppg.), Trey Finn (11.0 ppg.), and Brandon Peterson (9.7 ppg.) lead A-State in conference scoring as the trio have combined for 49.9% (439-879) of the team's points production.  Peterson leads the Red Wolves in rebounding (9.1 rpg.) while Rakeem Dickerson is tops in both assists (2.4 apg.).  Townsel, Finn, and Dickerson share the team lead in steals with 1.7 spg. averages.
Sun Belt Honors Finn:  Senior guard Trey Finn has been selected as the Sun Belt Conference's (SBC) Player of the Week this week (2/4) for his noteworthy performance in the Red Wolves' two victories last week.  Finn averaged a team-high 16.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per contest.  He tallied a game-high tying 18 points and asquad-best eight rebounds in a 74-62 decision over South Alabama last Thursday (1/31) and then scored 14 points to go with six rebounds and a game-high sive steals in a 75-66 overtime triumph against North Texas last Saturday (2/2).
Approaching A Milestone: Senior forward Brandon Peterson is presently three rebounds shy of racking up his 800th career board and would become the eighth player in ASU history to reach the milestone.  Peterson, who has a team-most 212 rebounds in 22 outings this season, has grabbed 797 career rebounds in 118 contests to date.
Finn Receives Recognition: Trey Finn was selected by College Sport Madness as the Madness Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week this week (2/4).  Finn, a 2012-13 College Sport Madness All-SBC Preseason Second-Team selection, connected on 87.5% of his free throws by going 14-of-16 at the charity stripe.
Match Game: The Red Wolves'14 victories to date this season equals their total win production (14-20 record) from the 2011-12 campaign.  ASU, which currently is 14-8 overall this season, has compiled double-figure victories in each of its last five seasons to date and in 15 seasons since the 1987-88 campaign.
Board Chairman: Brandon Peterson's 14 rebounds against North Texas (2/2) marked his 10th double-figure rebound game of this season and was one carom shy of matching his career single-game best 15 boards vs. Arkansas-Monticello (11/13).  He has double-digit rebounds in four of his last five games to date.
Scoring Machine: Trey Finn scored double figures in seven of his last eight outings and is midst a current three-game double-digit scoring streak.  Finn tallied 11 points versus Florida Atlantic (1/26) followed by a season-high 18 points against South Alabama (1/31).  He garnered 14 points in last Saturday's (2/2) overtime win over North Texas.  Finn is averaging 13.4 ppg. (107 pts.) in his last eight contests and 14.3 ppg. (43 pts.) in his last three appearances.  He averaged 4.4 ppg. (22 pts.) in his five prior outings before notching a double-figure points game performance with 13 versus Western Kentucky (1/5).
Moving Up: Trey Finn presently ranks 13th among ASU's all-time rebounding leaders and is 17 shy of moving into a tie for 12th place with Reggie Gordon (1983-87; 645 career rebs.).  Finn has currently recorded 628 career boards in 112 contests, which includes 106 caroms in 21 outings this campaign.  Finn has now produced at least 100 rebounds in each of his four A-State seasons (2009-13) with a career season-high 195boards in the 2009-10 campaign. 
Red Wolf Howlings: Sophomore Rakeem Dickerson is one assist shy of attaining the 100th of his career and has 99 helpers in 54 contests ... Marcus Hooten is six steals shy of equaling his season-best 19 thefts in 34 games last season ... Trey Finn, who has 197 career assists in 112 games, is three helpers shy of reaching the 200-career mark ... Rakeem Dickerson's 108 points in 22 outings this campaign is a personal career best, surpassing his 104 points in 32 contests a season ago ... BrandonPeterson has compiled 200-plus rebounds in a single season twice, whichincludes a career-high 267 boards in 2011-12 and a current 212 rebounds this season ... Ed Townsel has set career single-season highs this campaign in field goals made (108), three-point field goals made (54), free throws made (52), and points scored (322) ... Freshman forward Kelvin Downs is shooting 66.7% (10-15) from the floor in his last three games, highlighted by 75% (3-4) against South Alabama (1/31) ... Brandon Peterson was held scoreless in the North Texas (2/2) game which snapped a 62-game scoring string.  The last time Peterson didn't register a point was on Feb. 1, 2011 at Savannah State.
Down The Middle: The Red Wolves, who have played 22 games this season to date, are averaging 68.5 ppg. (753 pts.) in their last 11 contests compared to 70.1 ppg. (771 pts.) in the first 11 outings.  Conversely, the opposition is averaging 59.2 ppg. (651 pts.) in the past 11 games after scoring at a 66.5 ppg. (732 pts.) in their first 11 appearances this campaign.
Heating Up: In the last 11 games, Trey Finn is averaging 11.3 ppg. (124 pts.) after producing 7.9 ppg. (79 pts.) in 10 contests during ASU's initial 11 outings this season.  Rakeem Dickerson has netted a 6.6 ppg. average (73 pts.) in the last 11 compared to 3.2 ppg. (35 pts.) in the first 11 encounters.
Last Time Out: Arkansas State overcame an 11-point second-half deficit to force overtime against North Texas before defeating the Mean Green 75-66 in a thrilling Sun Belt Conference (SBC) contest Saturday (Feb. 2) at the ASU Convocation Center in Jonesboro,Ark.
The Red Wolves trailed 41-30 with just under 16 minutes to play before outscoring the North Texas 29-18 down the stretch, capped by Cameron Golden's off-balance jumper from three-point territory with four seconds remaining in regulation to tie the score at 59 and send the game into overtime.  Arkansas State would never fall behind in overtime as theRed Wolves would go on to outscore North Texas 16-7 in the extra session.  Kendrick Washington and Ed Townsel made a combined eight free throws in the overtime frame.
Cameron Golden led four Red Wolves in the double-figure scoring column with a game-high tying 18 points, which included four triples.  Ed Townsel scored 15 points while Trey Finn had 14 and Kendrick Washington supplied 10 off the bench. Townsel finished the game going 8-10 at the charity stripe while Washington was six-of-nine.  Finn logged a season second-most 42 minutes while Townsel played a season second-highest 41 minutes for A-State, which connected on 34.4% (22-64) of its shots and was 65.7% (23-35) at the free throw line for the game.  Brandon Peterson went scoreless in 31 minutes of action, but managed to grab a game-leading 14 rebounds.
Trailing 36-28 at halftime, ASU got within two points 45-43 with 8:14 to go on a pair of Trey Finn free throws before a five straight points by North Texas gave the visitors a 50-43 advantage just under the seven-minute mark.  The Red Wolves buckled down and cut the margin to four points on three different occasions, including with 43 seconds to go in regulation.  North Texas matched a successful A-State free throw with one of its own a second later, but from there the Red Wolves accounted for six of the regulation's final seven points.  Rakeem Dickerson drilled a three-pointer from above the key with 13.7 seconds left for ASU after the Red Wolves collected an offensive rebound on five consecutive misses from beyond the arc.  Down by three (59-56) with 12.5 seconds to go, Cameron Golden took the inbounds and dribbled into the ASU forecourt before firing a three off of Brandon Peterson screen which found the bottom of the net.  ASU had a chance to win in regulation as Finn stole the ball in UNT's backcourt but missed a short jumper as time expired.
Once in overtime, the game remained deadlocked at 59-all until the 3:28 mark when Golden converted a three-point play on a goaltending call and a made free throw to set the tone.  The Red Wolves proceeded to go on an 8-1 spurt in a two-minute span to increase their lead by nine points at 69-60 with 1:37 left as Finn knocked down a three ball just as the shot clock expired.  ASU knocked down five free throws while the Mean Green misfired on their final three shots in the final minute to seal the victory.

2012-13 Reference Guide Now Online: The 2012-13 A-State men's basketball reference guide is now available to view online in a PDF format and contains information for all devoted Red Wolves fans.  The 110-page publicationfeatures such information as 2012-13 student-athlete rosters, season preview, student-athlete biographies, coaching staff bios, 2011-12 season statistics, and all-time series records along with career, season, and game statisticalrecords.  The annual publication is a production of the ASU Sports Information Office under the direction of director Jerry Scott alongwith assistant directors Chris Graddy and Joe Gorby.  To view the 2012-13 ASU men's basketball publication online, please visit the respective link – 2012-13 Arkansas State Men's Basketball Reference Guide.
A Season Ago: A-State concluded the 2011-12 campaign at 14-20 overall and posted a fifth-place 6-10 mark in the Sun Belt Conference's (SBC) West Division.  The Red Wolves were 10-5 at home, 2-14 on the road, and 2-1 at neutral sites a season ago.

Up Next: Arkansas State closes out its two-game road swing this Saturday (Feb. 9) versus the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in Bowling Green, Ky.  The Sun Belt Conference contest, which starts at 7 p.m. (CT), will be televised live on the Hilltopper Sports Satellite Network (HSSN) and ESPN 3.