Red Wolves Pull Away From UT-Martin

The best thing Arkansas State coach John Brady said about the Red Wolves' 72-62 victory over Tennessee-Martin Wednesday night was "we won the game that is about all I can say. The quality of it was not nearly what we want."

The Red Wolves (2-0) nearly saw a repeat of Monday night's victory at Jackson State. They were again out-rebounded, this time by a 47-36 margin.

"We gave up 15 offensive rebound at Jackson and we gave us 18 tonight,'' said Brady. "Our initial thrust on defense is fine, but our ability to not finish the defensive possession by not rebounding is not acceptable.

"If they shoot 36 per cent from the field then I will take that. We can win a lot of ball games like that. But we have to finish and go get the rebound.

"This is the worst rebounding team I have had in my six years I have been here. And we have got to get that fixed because we will be playing teams a lot better than Tennessee-Martin."

Kirk Van Slyke, the 6-foot-10 transfer who sat out last season, led the Red Wolves with 16 points. He also had four blocks, five rebounds, a steal and an assist.

Melvin Johnson, with four 3-pointers, finished with 15, Cam Golden scored 13 and Brandon Reed had 10. Kendrick Washington had 9 points, 11 rebounds and three assists.

"Kendrick was our most active player inside,'' said Brady.

A-State led 38-31 at the half, but lost a double digit lead last in the half. The Skyhawks narrowed the margin to 42-41 with 17:21 left but a 9-0 run over the next three minutes rebuilt the Red Wolves' advantage.

The largest lead was 70-54 with 2:35 left.

A-State shot 44 percent (26-59) from the field and was 9 of 25 (36 percent) on 3-pointers. The Red Wolves were 11 of 18 on free throws.

UT-Martin (0-3) shot 36.2 for the game and was 2 of 17 on 3-pointers.

The crowd was announced at 2.237.

The Red Wolves now head west to play at Wyoming on Saturday afternoon (2 p.m.) and at Colorado on Monday at 8 p.m.

They return home on November 24 to face Central Arkansas.