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Red Wolves are victorious in overtime

Published: Monday, February 4, 2013

Updated: Monday, February 4, 2013 17:02

men's bball

Xinzhong Zhao, Staff Photographer

Freshman guard Raeford “Gator” Worsham goes up for a layup against an opponent during the game vs. North Texas Saturday night. The Red Wolves won in overtime 75-66.

Cameron Golden is in a race against time.

He flies down the court, now in 3-point range.

The seconds are ticking away and the ball is soaring through the air.

Cheers and screams fill the Convocation Center and every fan jumps out of their seats as the Arkansas State Red Wolves’ saving grace falls into the basket.

Four seconds remain. Tied game.

The Red Wolves’ men’s basketball team came alive during the second-half of their heart-attack inducing win over the North Texas Mean Green on Saturday, Feb. 2.

Arkansas State overcame an 11-point deficit in the final minutes of the game to beat North Texas 77-65, improving their record to 14-8 overall and 8-5 in the Sun Belt Conference. Saturday marked the 39th meeting between the schools and the win gave ASU a 21-18 lead over the Mean Green.

“That was a great win for our team,” Arkansas State head coach John Brady said. “I think the biggest thing is the resiliency our team showed and the toughness it showed, and they found a way to hang in there and win the game.”

North Texas came out of the gates strong in the first half, taking the lead early on and outscoring ASU 36-28 at the half. With North Texas shooting in the upper-50 percentile in the first half, the Red Wolves’ only chance was to come back from halftime with determination and the ability to wear the Mean Green down.

North Texas scored on 15 of 30 field goal attempts in the first. In the second half, ASU allowed 23 points with North Texas only scoring on six of 23 field goal attempts.

When the clock read 1:08 remaining in the game, the Red Wolves were down by seven points and calling a timeout. What followed was too intense to not watch.

“I don’t even remember what happened in the course of the game there at the end,” ASU senior guard Trey Finn said. “There was so much that happened.”

Less than 30-seconds remained when the Red Wolves began a play that looked like something from the Harlem Globetrotters playbook.

Their first attempt at a three-pointer is no good but the rebounding was sharp. The second attempt came up short and so did the third and fourth—Finn had at three tries.

But it was sophomore guard Rakeem Dickerson who sunk the three-pointer that would put ASU within two points.

Thirteen-point-seven seconds remain.

An ASU foul and a North Texas time out give the Red Wolves a handful of seconds to make their move. And then Golden gets the ball.

“It was actually drawn up to score three ways,” Golden said. “If they were overplaying Trey Finn, I was supposed to go off the double-pick to Ed (Townsel) but they were playing Ed. I saw an open shot and I took it.”

The Mean Green tried to inbound the ball, but a tip by freshman guard Raeford Worsham put the ball right back into Finn’s hands. But his two-point attempt was no good and the clock had run out of time.

Then there was chaos. The refs disagreed on a goal tending call the prevented the field goal attempt from being made and North Texas’ head coach Tony Benford had a few words for Coach Brady.

There wasn’t a soul in a seat as players rushed to hold the two coaches back. Almost everyone has seen a sports fight and this one would have made it into the record books had the two coaches gotten within arm’s reach of each other.

But the players and everyone involved succeeded in calming the situation, causing us to only imagine what might have been.  
When asked about the incident, Brady said Benford cussed him and that he didn’t want any confrontation with the coach, but he was going to make it known that he didn’t appreciate that talk.

Once attention was turned back to the game, goal tending was called and Golden got his and one, putting ASU up 62-59.

North Texas only scored seven points in overtime while the Red Wolves scored 16.

“Coach Brady said we had a lot to make up coming out of halftime,” ASU senior guard Trey Finn said. “We stuck with it, followed through and when we went into overtime, we knew it was ours.”

Finn, Golden and junior guard Townsel scored combined 47-points for ASU; Finn had 18, Golden 14 and Townsel had 15. Junior forward Kendrick Washington also had double-digits with 10 points.

Thursday, Feb. 7 the Red Wolves will travel to Murfreesboro, Tenn. to take on Middle Tennessee. Brady said the team will need to score at least 60-points to have a chance at beating UMT on Thursday and remain in contention to lead the Sun Belt West. The game starts at 7 p.m. and will be aired on ESPN3.

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