John Brady called Arkansas State's game with Louisiana Monroe Saturday, a possible trap game.
Brady's team coming off their best two performances of the 2012-2013 season with a road victory at Western Kentucky (a place that Arkansas State hadn't won at in over 13 seasons) and then a dominating victory over arch rival Arkansas Little Rock this past Thursday night, blowing out the Trojans 86-62.
Brady made it clear to his team that they couldn't overlook a Warhawk team that overcame a big deficit to win Thursday night against North Texas.
"Our players must be focused," Brady said Thursday after his team's big win over UALR. "We can't afford to overlook a Louisiana Monroe team on the road, for us to accomplish what we want to accomplish, that can't happen."
That didn't happen here Saturday afternoon, as Arkansas State continued to play their best defense of the season and turned in its best offensive performance, never allowing Louisiana Monroe to get an opportunity to pull off an upset.
The Red Wolves jumped out to an impressive 16-2 lead in the first four minutes of the contest, enroute to an impressive blow out of the home standing Louisiana Monroe team 87-54.
Brady was extremely pleased with his team's focus and execution in Saturday's game.
"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 I compliment 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."
Four Red Wolves scored in double figures with senior guard Trey Finn leading the way for the second straight contest.
Finn scored 19 points, hitting five from six from three point range, definitely getting his shooting touch back at the right time for the Red Wolves.
"I have always believed in Trey," Brady said. "That's why we stuck with him, he always gives his best effort and the results will come."
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.
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 shots from beyond the arc.
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.