JONESBORO, Ark. (AStateRedWolves.com) – Troy's Tevin Calhoun scored a game-high 35 points with seven three-pointers and the Trojans netted an arena-tying record 14 three-point field goals to hand the Arkansas State University men's basketball team a 98-84 loss this Thursday (Jan. 9) night in the Red Wolves' Sun Belt Conference (SBC) home opener at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro, Ark.
The loss snaps A-State's four-game winning streak as the Red Wolves go to 9-5 overall and 2-1 in conference action. Troy is now 6-9 overall and 1-2 in the league with win, which is second in its eight contests. The Trojans buried 14 triples on the night to tie a Convocation Center record set by UALR on Feb. 24, 2001.
"They (Troy) beat us every way possible," said A-State head coach John Brady. "We weren't prepared well and they beat and outhustled us on every play of the game. We didn't challenge them enough. We need to do a better job of playing and coaching it if we're going to be the team I want us to be.
"This is unacceptable in every way possible. I don't understand it and this doesn't sit well with me," added Brady.
Senior forward Kirk Van Slyke recorded double-figure scoring for the seventh game in a row and the 13th time this season with a season-best tying 27 points, which included 9-of-10 at the free throw stripe, to pace the Red Wolves. Senior guard Brandon Reed compiled 23 points by going 6-for-11 from the field and made all eight free throws while senior guard Melvin Johnson III tossed in 17 points.
Troy lead almost the entire game as the Trojans shot 57.6 percent (19-33) in the first half, including 60 percent (9-15) from beyond the arc to claim a 54-44 lead at the break.
A layup by Kirk Van Slyke to start the second half closed the gap to eight points at 54-46 just a minute into the frame, but the Red Wolves would get no closer as Tevin Calhoun's layup pushed Troy's lead back to double digits. A-State did manage to trim an 18-point deficit (87-68) at the 5:21 mark in half as the Red Wolves went on an 11-2 spurt in less than two minutes to get within nine points at 89-80 with three minutes remaining.
Calhoun, who would end up one triple shy of tying an A-State arena record for three-pointers, was joined in double figures by Hunter Williams with 24 and Antoine Myers pumped in 20 points.
For the game, Troy was 32-of-58 from the floor (55.2%) and made 51.9 percent (14-27) from three-point territory. The Trojans went 20-of-26 from the free throw line (76.9%) and outrebounded A-State by 12 boards (36-24).
A-State ended the evening with 49.1 percent field goal shooting (28-57), which included 33.3 percent (8-24) from long range. The Red Wolves made 20-of-23 attempts at the charity stripe for 87 percent efficiency.
Kirk Van Slyke and Melvin Johnson III both pulled down six rebounds to lead A-State while Jeff Mullahey along with Josh Warren each grabbed a game-high nine caroms to lead Troy on the glass.
Arkansas State finishes up its two-game conference homestand this Saturday (Jan. 11) as the Red Wolves face South Alabama at 7:06 p.m. (CT) in a contest to be televised live on the Sun Belt Network. Tickets for this Saturday's matchup is 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.
Red Wolves Howl: A-State is now 6-2 in conference home openers ... Brandon Reed's 23 points represents a personal season high, surpassing his 21 points at Colorado (11/18) and at Marshall (12/21). Reed has scored double figures in his last five games to date and seven of A-State's last nine outings ... Kirk Van Slyke's 27 points tonight equals his season best, matching his scoring output at Nebraska (12/14). Van Slyke has scored at least 20 points in four contests this season and is averaging 19.3 (135 pts.) in his last seven appearances, all double-digit point performances.