A pair of mid-major teams meet up in the Great Lakes State as the Sun Belt faces off with the Mid-American Conference. The Arkansas State Red Wolves are on the road as they take on the Eastern Michigan Eagles Thursday night. Arkansas State is coming off an 83-69 home win over Abilene Christian Monday night. Eastern Michigan crunched Michigan-Dearborn 97-73 at home in their last game on Sunday. The Red Wolves won the only previous matchup between the schools, taking a 70-60 home win on December 19, 1981.
Arkansas State Red Wolves Seek Road Victory
Arkansas State bounced back from a season-opening loss as they took down Abilene Christian in their home opener. The Red Wolves are back on the road here as they try to even their road record after falling in their opener at Evansville. Arkansas State took a 15 point lead at the half and basically held serve the rest of the way to secure the win. The Red Wolves shot 56 percent from the floor, knocked down seven of 14 three point attempts and 20 of 26 free throws. Arkansas State won the rebounding battle 33-21 and forced 14 turnovers to help overshadow allowing Abilene Christian to shoot 51 percent from the field.
The Red Wolves enter this contest tied for 224th in the country in scoring offense with 73 points per game. Arkansas State is tied for 253rd in rebounding with 34.5 boards a night and a dismal tied for 337th in assists with just seven per game. The Red Wolves are tied for 189th in scoring defense as they allow 73 points per game. Deven Simms leads the team with 22 points plus seven boards a game. Ty Cockfield adds 20 points a night, Tamas Bruce chips in 10.5 points plus eight boards a contest and Grantham Gillard averages 10 points a game. Rashad Lindsey and Connor Kern are each putting up more than four points a game. The Red Wolves are shooting 47.7 percent from the field and connect on six three pointers a game on 36.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Arkansas State has been good at the free throw line early on as they’ve hit 78.9 percent this season as a team.
Eastern Michigan Eagles Look for 3-0 Start
Eastern Michigan is 2-0 but they haven’t faced much in the way of competition so far this year. The Eagles have beaten a pair of NAIA schools in Spring Arbor and Michigan-Dearborn: that’s not going to impress many people. Eastern Michigan led by just six at the half before outscoring the Wolverines 48-30 in the second half to pull away. The Eagles shot 57.1 percent from the field and sank 10 of their 28 three point attempts in the game. Eastern Michigan cashed in 15 of 19 free throw attempts to Michigan-Dearborn’s three of five. Elijah Minnie led the Eagles with 27 points plus seven boards in the victory.
The Eagles are an offensive force as they are tied for 32nd in the nation in scoring offense with 94.5 points per game. Eastern Michigan is tied for 160 in rebounding with 38 boards a night and tied for 33rd with 20.5 assists per contest. The Eagles are above average on the defensive end as they are tied for 118th in the nation with 66.5 points per game allowed. Elijah Minnie leads the team with 24.5 points plus 5.5 boards and two steals a night. James Thompson IV averages a double-double with 12 points and 13.5 rebounds per contest while Paul Jackson chips in 12 points a game. Tim Bond, Ty Groce, Kevin McAdoo, Terry Harris and Malik Ellison all put in at least four points a night. Eastern Michigan shoots 53.5 percent from the field as a team this season. The Eagles average 10 triples a night but shoot only 35.1 percent from beyond the arc.
- Red Wolves are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games
- Red Wolves are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall
- Eagles are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after scoring more than 90 points in their previous game
Arkansas State is coming off a win over Abilene Christian in a game where they failed to cover the line. The Red Wolves laid a dud in their road opener against Evansville and now have to contend with a good offensive team in Eastern Michigan. The Eagles beat a couple of cream puffs to start the year and this is their first game against a Division I foe. Still, with Thompson, who passed George Gervin’s record for double-doubles with his 41st, in the low block and Minnie doing damage as well, the Eagles get the upper hand in this contest.