Manassa led four players in double figures for the Tigers (2-0). Chris Martin finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, Lenjo Kilo had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Casey Wells added 11 points and three steals.
Arkansas State took a 22-9 lead early in the first period but Chris Martin sank a pair of 3-pointers midway and Casey Wells added two more as part of a 19-4 run that put the Tigers on top on their way to a 43-39 lead at halftime.
Savannah State fell behind 75-74 with 35 seconds to play but Pearson sank two from the line and the team held on for the win.
Anthony Livingston led the Red Wolves (1-1) with 24 points and 10 rebounds.