Arkansas State decks the Redhawks

Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Arkansas State's Donald Boone collides with Southeast Missouri's Jaycen Herring on a drive to the basket during the first half in Jonesboro, Ark.
SAUNDRA SOVICK
The Jonesboro Sun

Southeast Missouri State failed to put together its first two-game winning streak of the season.

The Redhawks didn't even come close.

Arkansas State dominated Tuesday night's contest virtually from start to finish, building a 29-point lead and romping to an 86-67 victory in Jonesboro, Ark.

ASU improved to 9-3 under first-year coach John Brady, after the team won just 10 games last season.

The Redhawks, coming off Sunday's one-point home triumph over Western Illinois, fell to 3-9.

"They're a good basketball team," Southeast acting coach Zac Roman said.

ASU's dominant defense and rebounding, along with a strong offense, combined to bury Southeast.

The Red Wolves entered play limiting the opposition to 56.3 points per game and 36.9 percent field goal shooting to rank among the top 20 nationally in both categories.

Southeast's offense clicked against Western Illinois for one of the few times this year as the Redhawks shot 52.5 percent, largely due to a dominant inside performance.

But Tuesday the Redhawks shot 40 percent (22 of 55), and they needed a late burst against ASU's reserves to reach that figure.

The Red Wolves, also ranked among the top 20 nationally in rebounding margin at more than plus-8 per game, hammered Southeast on the boards 44-28.

"They killed us on the boards," Roman said. "That was very disappointing to see."

Senior guard Kenard Moore paced Southeast with 24 points.

Moore tied his career high with seven 3-pointers -- in 14 attempts -- although many of those baskets came late after the outcome had long been decided.

Junior center Calvin Williams continued his strong play for the Redhawks with 16 points and nine rebounds.

Williams made his first 3-pointer of the season on his initial attempt of the year.

Also in double figures for the Redhawks was senior forward Jaycen Herring with 14 points.

While Southeast's offense struggled much of the night, ASU's was strong.

The Red Wolves, who compete in the Sun Belt Conference, shot 49.2 percent (31 of 63) and scored nearly 20 points above their season average.

"We didn't defend," Roman said.

Senior forward Shawn Morgan paced four ASU players in double figures with 16 points.

ASU, beating an Ohio Valley Conference team for the third time this season -- the other wins were against preseason No. 1 Murray State and No. 2 Tennessee-Martin -- never trailed Tuesday.

There was only one tie all night, 2-2, but ASU scored the next five points and the rout was pretty much on after the Red Wolves built a 16-6 lead five minutes into the game.

ASU's biggest first-half margin was 16 points before the Red Wolves settled for a 43-28 edge at the break.

Southeast got no closer than that after ASU scored the first four points of the second half.

The Red Wolves' biggest lead was 79-50 before ASU emptied its bench and Southeast scored 17 of the game's final 24 points.

Southeast now has a week off. The Redhawks host SIU-Edwardsville Dec. 31 before resuming OVC play Jan. 3 at Tennessee Tech.

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