JONESBORO, Ark. (11/14/16) – The Arkansas State men’s basketball team cruised to a 100-57 over Central Baptist College in its home opener Monday evening at the Convocation Center.
The Red Wolves (1-1) put together one of their best shooting performances in almost year in the first half after knocking down 63.6 percent of shots and used a 32-3 run to close out the period. The first half shooting percentage was the highest for and A-State since it shot 62.1 percent in the first half against Little Rock at home on Jan. 18, 2016.
A-State also improved its record to 46-10 all-time in home openers and now have a stanza of 24-6 in home openers in the Convocation Center. The 100-point total also marked the first that an Arkansas State team had scored 100 points in a home opener since it scored 101 against Central Methodist in 2001.
Junior guard Rashad Lindsey led the way with 18 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including a pair of 3-pointers. He also added six rebounds and three assists. Senior guard Donte Thomas nearly missed a triple-double with 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, while redshirt sophomore Connor Kern finished with 16 points, including three, 3-pointers.
“We had hoped that we would have the start that we did defensively tonight,” A-State head coach Grant McCasland said. “We talked about getting after it early and I was proud of the way we competed. We made a nice run to close the half and I thought was something that we had struggled with against North Dakota State and that when they made their run and I thought we did a much job tonight of sustaining our effort.”
A-State raced out to a comfortable lead thanks to a 32-3 run to close out that first half that elapsed 7:53 to build a 56-20 edge at the break. Lindsey scored 10 points in the opening half after going a perfect 3-for-3 from the field, including a 3-pointers and three free throws.
Lindsey knocked down a 3-pointer to start the second half to push the advantage to 39 and the advantage grew to 73-31 with 13:57 to go in the game after C.J. Foster hit a pair of free throws.
The lead grew to its largest point of the night when Andrew Riley knocked down a 3-pointer with 1:22 to go in the game to put the Red Wolves over the century mark for the first since 2015 when it scored 104 points against Arkansas-Monticello.
“The thing that means a lot to me is that we got better tonight,” McCasland said. “This is about our players and I’ve been fortunate enough to coach some really great teams in some great venues and every time nothing changes. It is about the players and their improvement and watching them grow and if you ask what was really good about this one was just watching is us grow.”
Foster turned in a solid night with eight pints and four rebounds, while Tamas Bruce added nine points and four rebounds.
Twelve different Arkansas State players saw action and all 12 of them scored as the Red Wolves got 51 points from its bench. The Red Wolves also limited Central Baptist to a 34.5 shooting percentage, and the Mustangs had only one player, Andy Ettiene, score in double digits (10 points). The Red Wolves collected 19 offensive boards, while holding CBC to just nine, and benefited from 21 second chance points.
Arkansas State returns to action Thursday, Nov. 17 at Georgetown. Tipoff is set for a 5:30 p.m. on FS1.