Williams Leading Mean Green Into A-State Game
Mean Green at Arkansas State Saturday At 7 p.m.
North Texas (8-15, 3-9) at Arkansas State (13-8, 7-5 SBC)
Feb. 2, 2013 • 7 p.m.
Jonesboro, Ark. • Convocation Center (10,563)
Radio: MGRN - 88.1 KNTU-FM, 95.3 KHYI-FM
TV: None • Webcast: AStateRedWolves.com
Series: ASU leads 20-18 • Streak: NT won last two
Last: NT won 76-72 on 3/5/12 in SBC Tourney semifinals
JONESBORO, Ark. – A Saturday night showdown awaits the Mean Green basketball team in its final trip to Arkansas State’s Convocation Center as a member of the Sun Belt Conference. Tip off against the Red Wolves is slated for 7 p.m. and can be heard on the Mean Green Radio Network.
Jordan Williams is proving himself one of the nation’s top scorers of late. The sophomore poured in a career and team-season high 31 points on 12-of-17 shooting against the Cajuns Thursday, and has topped the 20-point plateau in each of his last three outings. In that span, Williams is averaging 24.3 points on 50 percent shooting.
It’s no secret that ball security can be a deciding factor in the final score. In its wins, NT is averaging 11.0 turnovers and a +3.5 turnover margin, but those figures inflate to 15.4 turnovers and a -1.9 margin in losses. In the SBC, only Troy (10.8) and Arkansas State (13.6) average fewer turnovers than NT (13.9).
Arkansas State owns one of the Sun Belt’s most stingy and opportunistic defenses. The Red Wolves are holding their opponents to 62.7 points per game, which ranks second in the league. That’s due in large part to their aggressive defense that leads the conference in steals (9.5 per game) and turnover margin (+3.9). Ed Townsel and Rakeem Dickerson are the catalysts with 2.0 and 1.6 steals per game.
Keeping ASU and Brandon Peterson off the boards will be a big key to the game. Only South Alabama’s Augustine Rubit averages more offensive boards than Peterson’s 3.4 per game, while ASU is tied for the league lead with 13.7 as a team.