By Chuck Livingston, Sports Editor, The Evening Times and ASU Mid-South Sports Information
The ASU Mid-South Greyhounds battled to the finish but fell just short against the North Arkansas College Pioneers, falling 77-76 in what Greyhound head coach Chris Parker described as an "epic battle."
The loss ensured that the Greyhounds would have to return to Harrison to play for the Region 2 title. ASU Mid-South topped North Arkansas at home in January, but the Pioneers control the tiebreaker in the event of a tie. Since the two split the season series, ASU Mid-South will control the tiebreaker beginning next season, until it is used again.
Despite the loss, Parker wasn't discouraged.
"I am so incredibly proud of our young men for the solidarity and selflessness they have for each other," said the coach. "It is an honor and a privilege to coach this team, and I sure want to continue this journey with them as long as possible."
Parker's Greyhounds almost made it a clean sweep of North Arkansas last Saturday. ASU Mid-South trailed by four points at the half, and as many as eight after the break, but fought back to within one with the ball and seven seconds left in the game. The Greyhounds missed their potential game-winner and a chance on the offensive glass.
Tyler Armstrong led the Greyhounds with 18 points while Tevin Brown finished with 15 and Joe'Randle Toliver chipped in 12 points. ASU Mid-South finished the game with three more field goals, all three-pointers, but were beat at the line as North Arkansas went 19 of 28 to the Greyhounds 9 of 16 as the Greyhounds were whistled for 27 fouls to the Pioneers' 17 penalties.
"We are tough to beat right now, and I felt it took a great game from North Arkansas to beat us in Harrison," Parker explained of his team's future Region 2 title site. "They are a very good team, ranked 16th in the nation right now, but we are too. It's a shame one of us won't get to advance in the playoffs, because we are both very good this year."
The Greyhounds are at home on Monday night at 6:00 p.m. when they host Rhodes College junior varsity. ASU Mid-South previously topped Rhodes 76-52 in January on the road.