MANHATTAN, Kan. (11-16-2009) - Sophomore Megan Lewis' three-pointer with 9.6 seconds remaining in overtime lifted the Arkansas State Red Wolves (1-1) to an 80-79 victory over the Kansas State Wildcats (0-2) Monday night at Bramlage Coliseum.
Arkansas State rallied from 14 points down in the second half to force the overtime and pick up their first victory over a Big XII opponent since an 80-73 win over Oklahoma State during the 2006-07 season. The win was also the first road win against the Big XII since a 72-70 win at Kansas during the 1999-2000 season. The ASU victory was just the second non-conference home loss for Kansas State over its last 30 games at Bramlage Coliseum.
Senior guard Ebonie Jefferson led Arkansas State on the night with 22 points, while junior forward Shay Scott added a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore guard NeNe Hurst also finished in double figures with 16 points.
The Red Wolves controlled the boards on the night, out-rebounding the Wildcats 47-35, including 25 rebounds on the offensive glass. After struggling to shoot just 30.3 percent in the first half, ASU bounced back in the second half to hit 16-of-32 shots, then knocked down 6-of-9 in the overtime period (.667) to out-shoot the Wildcats on the night 43.2 percent to 42.6 percent.
"It was a very gutsy performance for us," said ASU head coach Brian Boyer. "We came out with a lot of fight in the second half, but there was a point when I thought we were in trouble. I was really proud of our team that it didn't happen, and we kept chipping away and getting closer and closer. Sometimes that puts a lot of pressure on the home team, and in the end, maybe that is what happened."
"Meghan is always going to be a weapon for us," added Boyer. "She doesn't have the prettiest form, but she can really shoot it. She has no fear and a quick release and she was able to answer the call and hit a huge shot."
Both teams rallied from four points down in overtime. ASU took an early 71-67 lead in the extra period before Kansas State fought back to go up 77-73 on a three-pointer from guard Brittany Chambers with 1:41 to play.
Arkansas State countered with four straight points from Jefferson to tie the game at 77 with 45 seconds remaining before K-State forward Ashley Sweat sank two free throws to give the Wildcats a 78-77 advantage with 24 seconds to play. Lewis' three-pointer put ASU on top for good, and Kansas State was unable to get the ball past half court in the final nine seconds.
Down eight at the break, Arkansas State opened the second half with a bucket from Jefferson and a pair of free throws from Hurst to cut the Wildcat lead to 35-31, but Kansas State countered with a 10-0 run to go up 45-31.
The Red Wolves again chipped away at the lead, pulling to within a bucket at 50-48 on a turnaround jumper just outside the lane from Scott with 10:31 remaining, then took their first lead at 59-58 when senior forward Lyndsay Schlup scored on a layup with 3:56 to play.
A steal and layup from Lewis bumped the A-State lead to 61-58 at the 3:48 mark, but K-State answered with three free throws over the next 44 seconds to tie the game at 61.
Jefferson put ASU back on top 63-61 on a putback with 2:38 remaining, then put the Red Wolves up by four at 65-61 with a jumper in the lane following a K-State turnover. Kansas State used a free throw from Sweat and a three-pointer from Chambers to tie the game at 65 with 1:30 to go.
Chambers followed an ASU turnover with a layup with 41 seconds remaining to give the Wildcats a 67-65 lead, but ASU answered with a bucket from sophomore forward Linsay Henke to tie the game at 67 with 25 seconds to play to send the game into overtime.
Arkansas State will be back on the court Wednesday, Nov. 18 when it hosts the Golden Lions of Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the Red Wolves' home debut for the 2009-10 season. Tipoff at the ASU Convocation Center is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.