By Chuck Livingston, Sports Editor, The Evening Times and ASU Mid-South Sports Information
Arkansas State University Mid-South is nearing a busy stretch of games that will eventually see them play six games in 13 nights, but to the eye, the Greyhounds may have never been better.
For the second straight game, ASU Mid-South welcomed a team to The Dog House.
For the second straight game, the Greyhounds outmanned their guests.
Monday, it was the Central Baptist College junior varsity Mustangs that ASU Mid-South (12-8 overall) topped, winning 128-74.
In their previous outing, ASU Mid-South rolled up 131 points in a win against Faith Preparatory Academy.
"I think we're doing a good job of pushing through (fatigue)," said ASU Mid-South head coach Chris Parker. "We always want to get better in what we do, and you don't always know what type of team a prep team or a JV team is going to have and all it takes is that team having a hot shooting night and you can lose the game."
ASU Mid-South had previously dropped a game to Bethel College's JV in November, as their opponents hit 14 three-pointers in the process.
That wouldn't be the case last night, however. ASU Mid-South had already established a 12-point lead on Central Baptist less than five minutes into the game when the Greyhounds held the Mustangs without a point for a span of four minutes and 23 seconds, while pushing their lead to 23 points.
"We try to set some goals before every game, but more important than the number of points that we allow or don't allow them is our own execution," explained Parker. "You can execute poorly and they just miss a shot and you haven't really done anything and sometimes you can execute everything perfectly and they hit a tough shot, but that's okay because you executed what you try to do."
ASU Mid-South led 64-28 at halftime after leading by as many as 40 points. The Greyhounds shot 66% in that half, while allowing Central Baptist to make just eight of their 35 attempts in that span, while winning the rebounding battle 30-8.
Merely minutes into the second half, ASU Mid-South had a possession that saw them miss five shots, but come up with five offensive rebounds, before Chris Smith made the team's sixth attempt.
The Greyhounds were able to outboard the smaller Mustangs, but the hosts also put on a show for the fans in attendance, posting seven dunks, including three from Tasmania Jones, who finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Jones has posted double-digit figures in points and rebounds in all five games since returning from a two-month absence due to injury.
"The dunks and all of that, we do have plays where that could be the end result. We also teach our guys to attack the basket aggressively," Parker says. "We always want the highest-percentage shot, which is the dunk and that's our expectation here."
ASU Mid-South was led by Jones' 23 points, while Cameron Ricks checked in with 19 and Chris Smith checked in with 14. For the second straight game, every Greyhound that played scored, with nobody scoring less than LaDarius Mason's four points. Marion graduate LaQuan Davie led ASU Mid-South with four assists while also scoring 10 points.
Central Baptist was led by Reginald Rogers's 23 points, John Baugh posted 13 and Glenn Norris hit for 12 of his own.
The Greyhounds are back on the road Thursday with a game against West Kentucky CTC before returning home to play Bethel's junior varsity on Monday, February 1 for a 7 p.m. tipoff.