HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AStateRedWolves.com) – Brandon Reed's three-pointer with 24.5 seconds left in the game broke a 79-all tie as the Arkansas State University men's basketball team held on for an 83-82 victory over Marshall this Saturday (Dec. 21) evening in non-league play at MU's Cam Henderson Center in Huntington, W.Va.
Reed finished with a season-high tying 21 points to pace five Red Wolves in double-figure scoring, but none was bigger for the senior guard than his triple from the left wing with just under 25 seconds remaining in the game. Marshall, which trailed at one point by 17 early in the second half came storming back to pull into a tie at 79 apiece with 39.8 seconds to go on a three from the corner by Ryan Taylor. Following Reed's three ball at the other end, Taylor was fouled and would go on to convert the back end of a two-shot foul as the Thundering Herd made it a two-point game with nine seconds remaining. Senior forward Kirk Van Slyke, who along with senior guard Melvin Johnson III totaled 16 points in the contest, would also make the second of a two-shot free throw to give A-State an 83-80 lead with 07.9 seconds showing on the clock. Following its final timeout, a three-point attempt from Marshall's Kareem Canty hit off the back iron although Ryan Taylor came flying in for the tip-in as the final horn sounded for the one-point Red Wolves' win.
With the victory, A-State improves to 6-4 overall as the Red Wolves' end a two-game skid. All five starters reach double digits as sophomore guard Cameron Golden supplied 13 points and senior forward Kendrick Washington posted a double-double with 10 points and a team-most 12 rebounds. Reed, a senior guard, also contributed eight rebounds and three assists to go with his five three-point field goals on the night. Johnson III provided a game-high tying five assists and grabbed five boards.
"I thought everyone played well and this is a good road win for us," said A-State head coach John Brady. "We made a little progress tonight and I'm hopeful we can continue to build upon this (win). I take my hat off to our guys in that although we didn't do everything well, we did improve in some areas. You have to give credit to Marshall for them coming back in the second half."
An 8-0 run by Arkansas State started off the contest as the visitors would hold the lead the entire opening 20 minutes of action. The Herd would draw into a 25-all deadlock with just under seven minutes to go in the first half, but the Red Wolves went on an 11-1 spurt within the next three minutes to push their lead up to 36-26.
Leading 47-31 at the break, A-State maintained its double-digit advantage for the first 13 minutes of the second half before Marshall went on a run to get within 74-72 on Kareem Canty's three at the 4:06 mark. A Kendrick Washington layup and a three-pointer by Melvin Johnson III would extend A-State's margin to 79-74 with 1:53 on the scoreboard. A pair of free throws by Marshall's Chris Thomas had narrowed the gap to 79-76 with 1:32 left to be played before Taylor drained a triple in the corner to tie the game, which A-State's Brandon Reed would snap with his 20-footer right in front of the Red Wolves' bench.
Arkansas State shot the ball well in the first half by connecting on 51.6 percent (16-31) and followed up by going 13-for-31 in the second frame to close with 46.8 percent (29-62) on the night. The Red Wolves made 12-of-31 from beyond the arc for a 38.7 percent success with Reed's five paving the way. Defensively, A-State held Marshall to 38.6 percent shooting (27-70) as both teams made 10 turnovers apiece.
Kareem Canty led Marshall with a game-leading 22 points, which included six treys, while TyQuane Goard compiled 21 points as four Herd starters made into the double-figure scoring column. Goard also hauled in a game-high 13 rebounds as Marshall claimed a 48-39 advantage on the glass.
Arkansas State returns to the court following the Christmas holiday for their final 2013 appearance as the Red Wolves host instate foe Southern Arkansas Monday, Dec. 30, in Jonesboro, Ark. A 7:05 p.m. (CT) start is scheduled for non-conference encounter at the A-State Convocation Center. Tickets for the game are currently on sale and may be purchased thru the A-State Central Box Office by calling 870-972-2781 or 1-888-ASU-FANS. Tickets are also available for purchase online at www.astate.edu/tickets.
Arkansas State men's basketball is on Twitter. Follow head coach John Brady (@JohnBrady_Coach) and the program's official Twitter account (@RedWolvesHoops) to get insider news, information, and team updates. The Red Wolves are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RedWolvesMBB.