A-State shoots past Central Arkansas

JONESBORO — Forward Kirk Van Slyke scored a season-high 23 points and guard Melvin Johnson III had 17 in leading five Arkansas State University men’s basketball players in double figures as the Red Wolves notched a 99-56 non-conference home victory over Central Arkansas Sunday afternoon at the A-State Convocation Center in Jonesboro.

Junior guard Rakeem Dickerson and sophomore forward Raeford Worsham each compiled 13 points and sophomore forward Kelvin Downs added 11 as the Red Wolves (3-2) forced 24 UCA turnovers along with holding the Bears to 21-of-60 shooting for 35 percent.

Van Slyke and Johnson III, a pair of first-year A-State seniors, both extended their double-figure scoring streak this season to five straight with those points totals. Van Slyke, who also hauled in a game-high tying nine rebounds, netted 15 of his 23 points in the first half while Johnson III scored all of his 17 points in the second frame within a four-minute plus span.

Along with the five A-State players in the double-figure scoring column, senior guard Ed Townsel recorded nine points, a game-best tying nine rebounds, and four assists. Sophomore guard Josh Pierre tossed in a career high seven points in the final four minutes to go with two rebounds and a steal.

Freshman guard Lenelle Brown led Central Arkansas with 12 points off the bench, which included four three-point field goals. No other Bears player reached double digits in scoring.

The Red Wolves return to action Nov. 30 on the road against the Lamar Cardinals.


A-State’s Aubert concludes season

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Kristina Aubert closed out another outstanding season at Arkansas State University as she competed in the 2013 NCAA Division I Women’s Cross Country Championships this Saturday.

Aubert, a redshirt junior, finished 124th place among 253 runners in the national meet as she registered a 21:28.9 time on the 6K LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center despite running on a 30-degree day with wind gusts howling at 20 miles per hour.

A two-time (2012 and 2013) NCAA-I All South Central Region Team selection by the United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA),Aubert was making her second NCAA Championships appearance after becoming the first A-State cross country athlete to participate in the national meet a season ago. Aubert, a two-time first-team All-Sun Belt Conference (SBC) honoree and the 2013 SBC individual medalist, ran a 20:56.3 time in the 2012 NCAA Championships (Nov. 17) held at Louisville, Ky.

UCA freshman finishes 54th at championship

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — University of Central Arkansas freshman Brooke Cassar finished 54th at the 2013 NCAA Women’s Cross Country Championships on Saturday at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course at Indiana State University.

Cassar, from Woonona, New South Wales, Australia, was 14 spots short of earning All-America honors in the 254-runner field. Cassar finished in a time of 20:55.7 on the 6K course, which was shortened by 110 meters for safety reasons because of course conditions.

Cassar won the Southland Conference championship earlier this month and finished ninth at the NCAA South Central Regional two weeks ago.


Dallas Baptist upsets UAFS in title match

FORT SMITH — One of the oldest sports clichés, unfortunately, held true for the UAFS Lady Lions on Saturday afternoon. Sometimes, it really is hard to beat a team three times in one season.

The top-seeded Lady Lions rallied from a two-set deficit to force a fifth and deciding set against No. 2 seed Dallas Baptist, but their comeback fell short as the Lady Patriots posted the upset in the Heartland Conference Tournament title match at the Stubblefield Center.

Dallas Baptist (18-15) won the match 25-21, 25-23, 19-25, 27-29, 15-8 to win the championship and deny UAFS’ bid for a three-peat. The Lady Patriots earned the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division II South Central Region Tournament, while the Lady Lions (22-9) saw their season most likely end.

Junior outside hitter Michelle Walker, who was Conference Player of the Year, led UAFS with 17 kills, while senior outside hitter Jordan Pickett had 15, senior middle hitter Jordan Erz 13 and junior middle hitter Shakendra Mumphrey 10.

Senior setter Stephanie Brock had a team-high 43 assists.

UAFS held Dallas Baptist to a 0.174 hitting percentage (67 for 236) and forced 26 hitting errors. The Lady Lions had 10 total blocks as a team with Erz collecting a team-high four solo blocks and one assist. Freshman libero Emily Tripp had 39 of UAFS’ 116 digs.

Outside hitter Tadem Mergener led Dallas Baptist with 25 kills, while outside hitter Erika Papadeas had 21 and middle hitter Tiara Iwegbu had 13. Setters Tyler Bradsher and Kaycie Bird each had 28 assists.