Mobile, AL (SportsNetwork.com) - Melvin Johnson III scored 24 points in 23 minutes as the Arkansas State Red Wolves powered past the South Alabama Jaguars for an 85-61 victory in a Sun Belt Conference tilt at the Mitchell Center.
Kirk Van Slyke added 17 points and eight rebounds for the Red Wolves (14-8, 7-4 SBC) while Kendrick Washington and Brandon Reed scored 12 points apiece. Rakeem Dickerson and Ed Townsel handed out five assists each to help ASU pick up its third win in a row.
Augustine Rubit paced USA (7-17, 1-10) with 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the floor. Antoine Allen had 10 points and Barrington Stevens dealt out six assists for the Jaguars as they suffered their sixth consecutive setback.
Despite being held to 40 percent efficiency from the floor in the opening period, the Red Wolves took a 35-28 lead into the intermission thanks to their 5-of-12 clip from behind the 3-point line and perfect 10-of-10 performance at the free-throw line. USA connected on 44 percent of its field goal attempts, but hit on just 3-of-10 shots from beyond the arc in the first half.
The Jaguars improved to sink 47.8 percent of their field goal tries after the break. ASU still pulled away as it knocked down 64.3 percent of its shots from the floor including 6-of-11 from 3-point range. The Red Wolves also made all eight of their shots at the charity stripe in the second half to finish 18- of-18 for the game.
ASU outscored the Jaguars, 26-16, in the paint and also held a 21-3 edge in points off turnovers.