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Red Wolves suffer setback in home loss against Troy

Published: Saturday, January 11, 2014

Updated: Saturday, January 11, 2014 13:01

All season long, Head Coach John Brady has preached consistent defense and defensive rebounding. That defensive philosophy was nowhere to be found on Thursday night as the Red Wolves took the floor for their conference home opener against the Trojans of Troy.

Hot shooting by the Trojans, including a Convocation Center record tying 14 three-point field goals from Troy, sent the Red Wolves to a 98-84 loss at the Convocation Center.

The Red Wolves (9-5, 2-1 SBC) never lead in this game, and would spend the rest of the night battling back.

Senior Forward Tevin Calhoun would be the hot hand for the Trojans, a player who averages 7 points a game coming into the contest, netted a career high 35 points, including seven three-point field goals made. Most of his damage came in the first half, scoring 21 points in just a little under 20 minutes of play. Trojans Senior Guards Antoine Myers and Hunter Williams each put up 20 and 24 respectively, as the trio of Calhoun, Myers and Williams would combine for 79 of the Trojans 98 points. The 98 were more than enough to halt the Red Wolves four-game winning streak and keep A-State from reaching 3-0 in Sun Belt Conference play.

The Trojans (6-9, 1-2 SBC) shot 57.6 percent (19-33) in the first half, including 60 percent (9-15) from beyond the arc which staked them to a 54-44 halftime lead. The Trojans would continue to pour it on in the second half, as Troy had an answer for any run the Red Wolves attempted. The Trojans shot 55.2 percent (32-58) for game while shooting a 51.9 percent clip (14-27) from three-point distance. The Trojans also outrebounded the Red Wolves 36-24, including nabbing key offensive rebounds down the stretch to seal the win.

As for his defensive mentality, Head Coach John Brady didn’t pull any punches when it came to his team’s lackluster effort on the defensive end.

“We got beat in every way possible. We weren’t coached very well, we weren’t prepared very well, they outhustled us on every single play you could imagine,” Brady said.

“In all my years as a head coach at Samford, LSU and this place, never has a team of mine give up 98 at home. Never. It’s unacceptable.”

“Our team took a step backwards tonight in defense and rebounding. Our team does not defend as it should and we don’t rebound it very well. Our points are fine, but we don’t stop anything.”

The night could also be summed up well with what transpired in the final six minutes of the contest. With the Red Wolves holding a 8-3 edge in fouls draw, a total of six fouls were assessed to the Red Wolves in a span of 45 seconds, one of which being a technical foul assessed against senior forward Kendrick Washington, ending his night after just 20 minutes of action. The fouling frenzy also saw an ejection as officials were hounded by Red Wolves fans for the majority of the night.

Despite the defeat, there were a few stand outs on the stat sheet for the Red Wolves. Senior forward Kirk Van Slyke scored a season best 27 points, the seventh consecutive game and the thirteenth overall. Senior guard Brandon Reed chipped in with a season-high 23 points and senior guard Melvin Johnson III tossed in 17. As a whole, the Red Wolves shot 49.1 percent (28-57) for the contest, including 33.3% (8-24) on three point field goal attempts.

But the story of the night was once again summed up by the Red Wolves lack of defensive execution, a message that Brady promises will change.

“We got to do a better job of coaching for it, we got to do a better job of playing it.”

A-state will finish their two game conference home stand when they host South Alabama on Saturday (Jan. 11). Tipoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. in a contest that is scheduled to be televised live on the Sun Belt Network and on ESPN3.

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