BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (A-State) - The Arkansas State University men's basketball team was vicitimized by missed opportunities as the Red Wolves suffered an 82-77 double overtime Sun Belt Conference (SBC) loss to WKU this Saturday (Jan. 18) evening in an ESPN3 televised game at WKU's E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Ky.
A-State, which falls to 10-7 overall and 3-3 in the conference, connected on 26-of-54 (48 percent) field goals in regulation but in the extra frames was just 2-of-12 in field goals attempts.
WKU's Chris Harrison-Docks missed a three-pointer with six seconds left in the first overtime and junior guard Rakeem Dickerson's desperation shot from beyond half court with four seconds to play in regulation fell short to send the game into the first extra session knotted up at 64-all.
The Red Wolves would take a lead for the first time in the first overtime as senior forward Kirk Van Slyke converted both of his free throws with 2:39 left giving A-State a 68-67 lead. But, T.J. Price knocked down a three-pointer 21 seconds later to put WKU up 70-68. The first overtime's final points came with 1:30 remaining as sophomore forward Kelvin Downs was fouled and proceeded to make both of his free throws to tie it at 70-apiece and prompt a second overtime.
In the second overtime, WKU scored first and never trailed although two free throws by senior guard Brandon Reed made it a 73-72 game with 3:22 left on the clock. The Hilltoppers then scored seven straight to go up 80-72 with 24 seconds remaining and seal the victory even though senior guard Ed Townsel's three-pointer with five ticks left narrowed the gap to five points for the final outcome.
Senior forward Kendrick Washington's 20 points lead A-State in scoring while Brandon Reed scored 17 points, Kirk Van Slyke had 14, and Ed Townsel contributed 10 points. Washington pulled down nine rebounds to lead the Red Wolves, who were trailed 51-37 in the rebounding department.
"We missed some opportunities and didn't make timely baskets at the right time," said A-State head coach John Brady. "We still had out moments and didn't make big shots. We did a lot of things good but just have to close things out better. We can't let WKU's best two players (T.J Price and George Fant) beat us and we did tonight."
The first half started with A-State leading the initial seven-plus minutes of the game before WKU bounced back took its first lead at 14-13 with 12:15 to go. Three ties would follow as the momentum shifted back and forth between the teams. The Hilltoppers would go on an 11-8 run in the final five-plus minutes to close out the half and led 40-34 at the half. A-State, which was paced by Kendrick Washington's 10 points and Kirk Van Slyke's nine at the break, connected on 57.1 percent (16-28) of its shots to WKU's 47.2 percent (17-36) in the first 20 minutes.
A-State led 47-43 following an Ed Townsel jumper with just over 12 minutes left in the second half, but WKU would account for the next 12 points to take a 55-47 lead with nine minutes to be played. From there, the Hilltoppers would never trail although the final five-plus minutes saw A-State go on an 8-4 run as Kendrick Washington's layup with 1:32 on the clock pulled the Red Wolves into a 64-all deadlock at the end of regulation.
George Fant scored a career-high 27 points and tied a career game-best with 14 rebounds for WKU, which upped its record to 11-7 overall and 3-2 in SBC action. T.J. Price posted 19 points and Chris Harrison-Docks tallied 13, including four during their 7-0 second-overtime run.