MONROE, La. - The Arkansas State University men's basketball team shot a season-high 60 percent from the floor to maintain its hold on first place in the Sun Belt Conference's (SBC) West Division as four Red Wolves scored in double figures en route to an 87-54 win over ULM this Saturday (Feb. 16) afternoon at ULM's Fant-Ewing Coliseum in Monroe, La.
Senior guard Trey Finn paced the ASU scoring assault with 19 points, which featured 5-6 shooting from three-point range and 4-4 at the free throw line. Senior forward Brandon Peterson posted his 10th double-double of this season with 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for the Red Wolves, who won their third straight while improving to 17-9 overall and 11-6 in conference action.
"This was a good win for us and we played an excellent game offensively," said ASU head coach John Brady. "From the beginning to the end, this is the best we've played offensively and Icompliment our players for how well we're playing on the road. Our guys were able to meet the challenge and we were able to take the air out of their sails."
A-State had two other starters in addition to Finn and Peterson crack the double-digit scoring column as junior forward Kendrick Washington tallied 14 points and freshman guard Cameron Golden posted 12 points. On the boards, the Red Wolves registered a 28-18 advantage. Kendrick Washington contributed six boards to go with three assists and steals apiece. Sophomore guard Rakeem Dickerson dished out a squad-best five assists and senior guard Marcus Hooten distributed four helpers. The Red Wolves outscored the hosts 34-10 in points off turnovers and held a 26-13 advantage in bench scoring.
The Red Wolves started out strong by taking a 16-2 lead just four minutes into the game. ASU managed to bump its lead up to 21 points at 24-3 on a Trey Finn three-pointer with 12:20 to go in the opening stanza. ULM fought back to erase the Red Wolves' double-figure advantage and closed the margin to just three points at 30-27 with under four minutes left in the half. The Warhawks were able to hold ASU's lead to eight or less the final three-plus minutes until just before the half when Trey Finn knocked down a triple try with four seconds left as the Red Wolves held a 42-33 halftime advantage. Finn lead all scorers at the break with 17 points, hitting all five of his shotsfrom beyond the arc.
ASU led by eight points a minute into the second half before erupting on a 15-3 run over an eight-minute plus span to go up by 20 points at 59-36 with 11:20 to be played. The Red Wolves, who blistered the nets on 67% (14-21) shooting in the second half alone, led by no less than 21 points the rest of the way.
The Warhawks, who lost for the 10th time in their last 11 outings, were led by Amos Olatayo's game-high 21 points. Kyle Koszuta contributed 13 points off the bench as ULM falls to 4-18 overall and 3-13 in the conference.
ASU concluded the game with season highs in field goal percentage (60%), connecting on 27-45 from the floor, three-point field goals made (21), and free throw percentage (87.5%) as the Red Wolves made 21-of-24 at the stripe.
Arkansas State, winners of six of their last seven, wraps up the home portion of its 2012-13 regular season schedule next Saturday, Feb. 23, against the Troy Trojans in Jonesboro, Ark. The Sun Belt Conference contest is slated for a 7:05 p.m. (CT) start at the ASU Convocation Center. The ASU men's basketball program will recognize its three senior student-athletes - Trey Finn, Brandon Peterson, and Marcus Hooten prior to the start of the regular-season home finale. Tickets are on sale through the ASU Box Office by calling 870-972-2781 or 888-ASU-FANS.