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IU-East keeps distance in win over Asbury men

Playing against a team ranked in the top-10 in the NAIA, the Asbury men’s basketball team kept things close in the first half but weren’t able to close the gap and get the win over Indiana University East. The Red Wolves would go on to win 93-81 and move the Eagles to 7-7 on the season. They also sit at 2-3 in the River States Conference and IU-East is now 13-5, 4-1 RSC.

There were eight lead changes in the first half as both teams battled for dominance. Trenton Thompson led the way, dropping 15 points in the first half alone. Asbury got out to a five-point lead with less than 10 minutes to go after a make from Austin Kindred. From there, things were back in forth until IUE pulled out in front.

The visitors’ 65 percent shooting from the field in the first half made things especially difficult for the Eagles, but they still only trailed by nine points going into halftime.

After the break, Asbury came out firing. Kristian Morgan nailed a three-pointer and Tyler Smith got to the basket early. Smith would end the game with 16 points and 7 rebounds. The Eagles currently lead the NAIA with an average of 111 points-per-game but the Red Wolves were only the third team this season to keep Asbury under 100 as the Eagles couldn’t close the gap when they cut it to as little as nine with 5:42 to play.

The Eagles will get a few days of rest before they play Ohio Christian University on Jan. 7 at home. It’s the second game in a five-game stretch of conference matchups. Asbury will have the advantage of playing all of those games at home as they look to break a three-game losing streak.