Red Wolves Beat Trojans; Townsel Gets in Books


Red Wolves Beat Trojans 77-49 (Men’s); 77-44 (Women’s)

Red Wolves Beat Trojans

JONESBORO, Ark.  – Senior guard Melvin Johnson III booked his fourth 20-plus point scoring total of the season with a game-high 21 points to power the Arkansas State University men’s basketball team to a 77-49 decision over rival UALR Saturday (Jan. 25) night in Sun Belt Conference (SBC) action before a Convocation Center crowd of 5,631 fans in Jonesboro, Ark.

Arkansas State’s sixth win in its last nine games sends the Red Wolves to 11-7 overall and 4-3 in the conference this season.  A-State also prevailed for the sixth time in eight home appearances this campaign.

Senior forwards Kendrick Washington and Kirk Van Slyke joined Johnson III in double figures with 16 and 15 points, respectively.  Johnson III collected his 21 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor, including 3-for-6 in triples, and went 6-for-8 at the free throw line in 25 minutes of action.  Washington grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds to post his third double-double of this season and Van Slyke scored double figures for the 11th consecutive time.

“This was a good win for us and I was glad we did it when we did it in front of a great crowd,” said A-State head coach John Brady.  “Our team was prepared (for the game) and I was proud of our guys.  We had a great team effort and our defensive involvement was solid for 40 minutes.”

A-State started the contest scoring first and would never trail the rest of the way.  Six-plus minutes into the game, A-State had built up a 10-point advantage before a UALR basket cut the Red Wolves’ lead down to eight points at 15-7 with 13:13 to go in the half.  From there, A-State went on a 7-2 run to take a 22-9 advantage on a Melvin Johnson III layup at the 10:17 mark.  The Trojans would turn the table with a 7-2 spurt of their own in the next four minutes to trim A-State’s lead to eight at 24-16.  The Red Wolves would go on to outscore UALR 14-6 in the last six minutes to head into the locker room ahead 38-24.

The Red Wolves pushed their lead up to 22 points at 46-24 four minutes into the second half before UALR put together a short rally to narrow its margin to 48-32 with just under 13 minutes left to be played as the visitors would get no closer than 16 points.  From there, A-State’s lead would range between 17 points all the way up to 31 points at 75-44 with 3:49 remaining in the game.

A-State didn’t shoot the ball particularly well from the field as the Red Wolves finished with 39 percent efficiency (23-59), but did manage to turn in their best defensive performance of this season by holding the Trojans to 24.1 percent (14-58) from the floor.  The free throw line was a different story for A-State as the Red Wolves shot the ball well, knocking down 26-of-32 attempts for 81.3 percent.

Senior guard Ed Townsel pumped in nine points, which included a trey for his 1,000th career point, and hauled down nine boards while junior guard Rakeem Dickerson added eight points in A-State’s 28-point victory over its instate rival.  Kirk Van Slyke contributed eight rebounds and senior guard Brandon Reedpulled down seven caroms in 19 minutes of court time as the Red Wolves ended the night with a 52-39 boards advantage.

Josh Leeper was the lone UALR player in double figures with 10 points as the Trojans are now 10-10 overall on the season and 5-3 in league action.  UALR’s top scorer Will Neighbour, who entered the game averaging 18.0 points an outing this season, was held to one point in 29 minutes of action.

Arkansas State is back on the road next week for a pair of Sun Belt Conference contests.  The Red Wolves travel to Monroe, La., next Thursday, Jan. 30, to face the UL Monroe Warhawks in a 7 p.m. (CT) game at ULM’s Fant-Ewing Coliseum.  Afterwards, A-State will go up against the Troy Trojans Saturday, Feb. 1, in Troy, Ala., with game time set for 7:30 p.m. (CT).  Both conference contests can be heard live on the EAB Red Wolves Sports Radio Network per flagship KFIN 107.9 FM as the “Voice of the Red Wolves” Matt Stolz will be on the call.

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

Red Wolves Howl: Kendrick Washington‘s 11 rebounds was one shy of matching his career high of 12 boards at Marshall this season (12/21) … Kirk Van Slyke is averaging 9.8 rebounds per game (39 total) in his last four appearances … Ed Townsel became the 26th player in A-State history to score 1,000 points and currently has a 1,007 career points total in 115 games.  The backcourt standout is now six points shy of tying Jabari Myles (1994-98; 1,013 career points) for 25th place on the program’s all-time scoring leaders list … Kendrick Washington has reached double-digit points in seven of his last nine contests following his 16 points in the contest.

Additionally, senior guard Ed Townsel of the Arkansas State University men’s basketball team registered his 1,000th career point in this Saturday’s 77-49 victory over instate rival UALR at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro, Ark.

Townsel, who became the 26th A-State player to reach the scoring milestone, scored his historic points on a three-point field goal at the 17:08 mark in the first half of the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) contest.  Townsel would go on to tally nine points in 30 minutes of action versus the Trojans.

This season, Townsel is currently averaging 7.8 points a game (140 pts.) in 18 contests.  The 6-0 backcourt player has compiled six double-figure point outings this 2013-14 campaign.  A season ago, Townsel scored a team-high 13.1 points per game (407 pts.) in 31 outings as A-State posted a 19-12 overall record with a first-place 12-8 mark in the SBC’s West Division.  The conference division title represented the Red Wolves’ second (2010-11 and 2012-13) in the last three seasons.

For his A-State career, Townsel has accumulated 1,007 career points to date for an 8.8 career average in 115 games.  He also presently ranks fourth among the Red Wolves’ all-time leaders in steals with 155 and his 154 three-point field goals is sixth best on the program’s career list.

A native of Starkville, Miss., Townsel was selected to the preseason All-SBC Third Team and College Sports Madness’ Preseason All-SBC Fourth Team for the 2013-14 campaign.

Townsel and his A-State teammates return to the hardwood next Thursday, Jan. 30, against the UL Monroe Warhawks in Monroe, La.  Tipoff for the Sun Belt Conference contest is set for 7 p.m. at ULM’s Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

Arkansas State has presently registered an 11-7 overall record and is 4-3 in conference play this season.

Red Wolves Beat Trojans womensIn women’s action, sophomore guard Aundrea Gamble scored a game-high 27 points and senior forwardJane Morrill added 10 points and seven rebounds to lead the Red Wolves to a 77-44 Sun Belt Conference victory over Arkansas-Little Rock Saturday afternoon at the Convocation Center.

The Red Wolves improved to 12-7 overall and ran their Sun Belt record to 6-1 for the first time since the 2006-07 season. A-State, which has won six out of its last seven games, also improved to 6-2 at the Convo this season. UALR fell to 9-9 overall and 4-4 in league play with the loss.

Arkansas State never trailed in the game and started out on an 11-2 run after Morrill knocked down a 3-pointer that brought the home crowd to its feet. The Trojans pulled within 12-6 with 14:04 left in the half, but A-State followed with a 22-2 run over a nine minute span that pushed the advantage to 26 points (34-8), which was the largest lead of the first half for A-State.

“I was pleased start to finish tonight with my team,” A-State head coach Brian Boyer said. “I thought defensively we established some things and I was really pleased with Jamie Ruffins right from the start and I thought she was really disruptive on the ball. Aundrea Gamble was obviously Aundrea Gamble but yet very selective in what she did and I thought the combination of establishing the inside game early allowed us to do some other things.”

Gamble was outstanding in the first 20 minutes, scoring 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting. She scored 11 of those points during A-State’s run but also opened opportunities for her teammates with her dribble-drive penetration. Morrill was dominant inside, grabbing six rebounds and scoring seven points, to help the squad shot 51.6 percent from the field in the half. Nine of the 10 players that played in the first half scored for A-State.

“I thought our rebounding was as good as tonight as it has been from one of my teams in a very long time,” Boyer said. “I thought we were very active on the boards and in the first half I thought we did a very good job of being active and finishing strong.”

The Red Wolves led 40-17 at halftime and were never threatened in the second. The Trojans got no closer that 40-19 at the 19:02 mark and did have answer for Gamble, who added 11 points to finish with 27 points in just 27 minutes of action. It was also the 11th time this season that she had led Arkansas State in scoring.

A-State scored a majority of its points in the paint where it held a 44-32 edge. The Red Wolves also took care of the ball, turning it over just 11 times while forcing the Trojans into 16 turnovers which turned into 20 points on the other end for the Red Wolves.

Arkansas State posted its second highest shooting average of the season at 57.7 percent, while the Trojans shot 33.3 percent, including 0-7 from beyond the arc while the Red Wolves connected on 33.3 percent (3-9) from the 3-point line.

This was A-State’s fourth largest victory over UALR since the 1999-00 when Arkansas State had a 33-points (82-49) victory over the Trojans at the Convocation Center. It was also the fourth largest victory in the series for A-State, who now leads the overall series 44-14.

UALR was led by Shanity James’ 10 points and nine rebounds.

Arkansas State will next play a road matchup with Louisiana-Monroe on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 7:05 p.m.

Courtesy Arkansas State University Department of Athletics

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