Arkansas State (7-4) at UT Arlington (5-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 2, 8:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: College Park Center (7,000) -- Arlington, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: Arkansas State 4-1, UT Arlington 4-1. Away Record: Arkansas State 3-3, UT Arlington 1-6. Neutral Record: Arkansas State 0-0, UT Arlington 0-0. Conference Record: Arkansas State 0-0, UT Arlington 0-0. Series Record: Arkansas State leads, 36-13
GAME NOTES: The Arkansas State Red Wolves have won two games in a row, and look to make it three when they travel to face Texas Arlington Thursday to kick off Sun Belt Conference play.
Arkansas State defeated Southern Arkansas, 91-66, on Monday for the team's second consecutive win. The Red Wolves improved to 7-4 on the season as non- conference action came to a close.
UT Arlington escaped its last contest against Cal State Bakersfield in overtime, winning 79-74 to close out its non-conference schedule. The Mavericks have won three out of their last four following a five-game losing streak.
Arkansas State leads the all-time series against UT Arlington 36-13, including a 14-9 mark on the road. The last time these teams met was in 1997, a 72-64 Arkansas State victory.
The Red Wolves dismantled Southern Arkansas on Monday. Brandon Reed led Arkansas State with a game-high 19 points, 12 of which came in the second half. Forward Kirk Van Slyke finished the contest with 17 points and six rebounds for the Red Wolves, and Melvin Johnson III scored 16. The Red Wolves shot 61.5 percent from the floor in the second half of the matchup, connecting on 16-of-26 shots, compared to 36.7 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes. Arkansas State held a slim 36-34 halftime edge before exploding in the second half. The Red Wolves also hit 29-of-33 from the charity stripe.
Van Slyke leads the team in scoring this season, averaging 16.8 ppg, followed by Johnson, who is right behind with 16.1 ppg. Van Slyke is among the team leaders in rebounding, pulling down 5.5 rpg. The forward also leads the team in blocked shots with 18 and shoots an astounding 59.6 percent from the floor this season. Reed rounds out the double-digit scorers with his 10.5 ppg.
UT Arlington won in overtime against Cal State Bakersfield prior to the holiday break on Dec. 21. Brandon Edwards recorded his seventh double-double of the season, pouring in 23 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Lonnie McClanahan added 17 points and dished out seven assists in the win. UT Arlington led throughout the entire first half, but CSUB came back to tie the score with 11 minutes left in the contest. Eventually Bakersfield took the lead late in the second half, but the Mavericks came back to tie the score on a free-throw by Reger Dowell.
Dowell leads the team in scoring this season with a hefty 22.3 ppg, which is good for 10th in the country. Dowell is tied for the team lead with 11 steals on the season, and has 21 assists. Edwards isn't far behind Dowell in scoring, averaging 19.3 ppg. The big man also averages 10 rpg, which ranks 16th in the nation. McClanahah averages 11.6 ppg and leads the team with 54 assists.
Despite not having the home advantage, Arkansas State should have the upper hand with more distributed scoring and strong defensive play.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arkansas State 72, UT Arlington 66
01/02 10:37:45 ET