By Chuck Livingston, Sports Editor, The Evening Times and ASU Mid-South Sports Information
The Greyhounds of Arkansas State University Mid-South ran into a buzzsaw last Thursday night.
Playing on the road against a formidable Northwest Mississippi squad, ASU Mid-South (11-8 overall) struggled to score in the first half and could never dig out of a large deficit in a 95-77 defeat.
The hosts led 45-23 at halftime, though ASU Mid-South was able to outscore Northwest Mississippi in the second half 54-50.
"It was frustrating that we turned it over and didn't shoot the ball well because Northwest Mississippi shot it very well from the three-point line," said ASU Mid-South head coach Chris Parker. "We gave them easy scoring opportunities off of our turnovers and we just ourselves too deep a hole to get out of in the second half, even though we outscored them in that period."
ASU Mid-South got a double-double from Wynne native, Tasmania Jones. Jones hit for a game-high 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Tyler Armstrong pumped in 14 points, Teverette Cain added 13 and Tevin Brown posted 10 of his own.
For the game, Northwest Mississippi hit 47.5% of their shots while ASU Mid-South canned 43.4% of their looks. The home team connected on 10 of their 20 three-point attempts, while ASU Mid-South hit just four of their 20 shots from long range.
The Greyhounds won the rebounding battle 53-45, but the visitors lost 16 turnovers in the game, leading to 19 points for Northwest Mississippi off of the miscues.
"My father always said to learn from every person and situation, even if its what not to do," explained Parker. "Hopefully, we can at least take that from every game we play."
Northwest Mississippi completed a season sweep against ASU Mid-South after winning an 89-84 decision in The Dog House earlier this season, so Parker knew what that team was all about.
"I believe that the three teams that we play home-and-home every year - Northwest Mississippi, North Arkansas and Arkansas Baptist - all have the best teams that they've had in over a decade," explained Parker. "We have the best team that we've had since we started the program in 2010, and it's ironic that all four programs have hit a plateau at the same time. However, it also speaks to the talent that each of us has and the competition in our region. The only difference is that we get all of our guys from Arkansas and the Mid-South while the other programs have players from other states."
ASU Mid-South will continue its tour of six games in 13 days when they host Faith Prep Saturday at 3 p.m. It will be a men's only contest.
"That game will be another opportunity to show what we've learned from past games," Parker said. "I'm hoping that we play with more consistency moving forward."