Lady Red Wolves top Lady Bobcats to stay perfect in SBC
A- State women sweep opening conference series with 70- 54 tri-umph over Texas State University
A-State Sports News JONESBORO — Momentum continued on Saturday for Arkansas State women’s basketball, as the Red Wolves scored early and often en route to a 70-54 victory over Texas State to sweep their opening Sun Belt Conference series.
The Red Wolves (7-1, 2-0 SBC) never trailed and improved to 2-0 in league play for the first time since the 2018-19 season, led by four players scoring in double figures. Peyton Martin led the charge with 18 points – 16 coming in the first half.
“I’m a happy camper right now,” head coach Matt Daniel said. “If you’d have told me before the season started, especially with the pandemic, that we could be 7-1, 2-0 in the league and have played eight of nine possible games at this point, I’d have said ‘yeah, right.’” I’m really proud of our kids tonight. They didn’t play like kids, they played like grown-ups. We have a lot we can work on, but we’re the first team to hold serve in the league so far in our first weekend, and I’m just really pleased with our group.”
Jada Stinson was a strong contributor off the bench for A-State, providing 12 points on 5-9 shooting with three rebounds and three steals. Karolina Szydlowska added 11 off the bench with a game-high three treys while Jireh Washington notched 11 points with seven boards and three steals. The Red Wolves shot 44.1 percent from the field (26-59) and a season-high 76.5 percent from the free-throw line (13-17), going 12-15 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter. Morgan Wallace was again the glue piece for the Scarlet and Black, with eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds, giving her double- digit boards for the second straight day.
A-State held Texas State to just 32.7 percent from the floor (17-52) and just 18.8 percent from three-point range (3-16), while outrebounding the Bobcats 38 to 32. Lauryn Thompson led Texas State with 15 points and seven rebounds while Da’Nasia Hood chipped in 12 points and a team-best nine boards.
A-State opened with great energy, mounting to an early 7-0 lead in the first two minutes, forcing Texas State to call an early timeout. The Red Wolves pushed it to 11-0 before the Bobcats got on the board with a three by Taylor. AState continued to extend its lead out to as much as 17 on a three by Washington followed by a fast-break layup by Stinson. Texas State cut it to 12 with less than a minute left in the quarter, but Szydlowska knocked down her second trey of the stanza with 35 seconds left to give the Scarlet and Black a 29-14 lead after the first 10 minutes.
The Bobcats trimmed AState’s lead down to 13 early in the second, but the Red Wolves continued to apply heavy pressure defensively, not allowing Texas State to gain any momentum. A-State ended the half with a pair of inside buckets, first on a turnaround jumper by Martin – giving her 16 points in the first half – followed by a fast-break buzzer-beating layup by Wallace to give the Red Wolves a commanding 48-29 lead at the half.
Texas State seized momentum in the third quarter, opening with a 12-2 run en route to cutting A-State’s lead down to seven with 3:13 to go in the third. A pair of late layups by Washington ended the quarter with the Red Wolves leading 54-44. In the fourth, A-State continued to extend its lead, this time from the freethrow line. After going 1-2 from the line in the previous three quarters, the Red Wolves went 12-15 and held Texas State to just 3-15 from the field to move ahead by as much as 17 en route to the 16-point triumph.
A-State returns to action on Friday, Jan. 15, traveling to Monroe, Louisiana, to face ULM in a two-game set.
Tipoff for Friday’s contest is slated for 6 p.m. while Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. tip inside Fant-Ewing Coliseum. The broadcast can be watched live on ESPN+ while the radio broadcast can be heard on 95.3/96.9 The Ticket.
• Arkansas State forced double-digit turnovers for the eighth consecutive game to open the season, 16 or more for the seventh straight game.
• A-State’s 29 points scored in the first quarter were the most in a game this season for the Red Wolves, surpassing 28 scored versus Champion Christian on Dec. 17.
• A-State held its opponent to 25 percent or lower from three-point range for the fifth straight game, the fourth consecutive time holding its foe to under 20 percent.
• The Scarlet and Black improved to 10-5 all-time versus Texas State, 5-3 in Jonesboro.
• Jireh Washington scored in double figures for the fourth straight contest and 17th time in the last 19 games.
For the latest on the AState women’s basketball program, follow @AStateWB on Twitter and @astatewbb on Instagram, while also liking the team’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/RedWolves WBB.
Photo courtesy of A-State