Indians strike Oilers, 86-75
| After losing last week's exhibition
game against the Arkansas Express, the Arkansas State University men's
basketball team regrouped to defeat Conoco Oil 86-75 at the Convocation
Jeff Holloway, a junior guard of Muncie, Ind., scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Holloway said the key difference between the first and second exhibition games was the team's intensity and its defensive play.
Chico Fletcher, a sophomore point guard of Osceola, scored 15 points after suffering a shoulder sprain last week. Fletcher did not play in last week's game against the Express. He did not start against the Oilers and entered the game after two minutes.
"Last week we were just getting started, and we kind of embarrassed ourselves," Fletcher said. "I think we had that in the back of our minds tonight, and it caused us to play better."
However, forward Jabari Myles, a senior of Decatur, Ga., was again unable to play because of back spasms.
"They (doctors) still think it's just back spasms, but it's going to take some time," ASU coach Dickey Nutt said. "Whether or not he'll play (this weekend) is very questionable."
Contributing to a strong front line was James Pigram, a junior center of Clarksdale, Miss. Pigram scored 13 points and had eight rebounds despite taking time out late in the first half to have a cut above his right eye treated with seven stitches. Pigram said he did not know what caused the injury.
Playing for the opposition was Mark Kiehne, former ASU basketball standout and an All-Sun Belt Conference forward last season.
Kiehne, still a student at ASU, missed all five shots he attempted.
"They just kept running big guy after big guy off the bench," Kiehne said. "They don't get tired because there's so many of them. I'm proud of them, and I think they'll go a long way."
Another former ASU player was wearing the Conoco Oil uniform Tuesday. Damon Nicholas, an Indian forward from 1994 through 1996, scored five points.
ASU's shooting percentage was up from last week's 35 percent to 55 percent. The Indians grabbed 58 rebounds, Conoco had 39.
Forward Freddy Hicks, a junior of Moro, scored 11 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. Center Eric Beatty, a junior of Okmulgee, Okla., scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Conoco Oil's Rod Gregoire, a forward from Central Oklahoma University, led the Oilers with his triple-double, scoring 28 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and recording 10 steals.
Cordell Love, a guard from Tulsa University, scored 22 points, including five three-pointers.
Nutt said the team has a long way to go before opening the regular season Saturday at California Poly-San Luis Obispo.
"Saturday is when it counts," Nutt said. "Defensively we have a lot of room to improve. I felt we weren't home free the whole time. The game plan was just get the basketball inside to get us out of the block and get us rolling again.
"We rebounded pretty well, but hopefully our outside shooting will improve," Nutt said. "We've got a tough trip coming up, and we need to go in and be very focused. If we can keep the same unity and give it everything we have, we're going to walk away proud."
Nutt said Myles, a projected starter entering the preseason, will travel with the team this weekend.
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