SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (11-21-2009) - Arkansas State (2-3) sophomore NeNe Hurst scored 16 points, and senior Ebonie Jefferson added 11, but the Seton Hall Pirates (3-1) countered with four players in double figures to hand the Red Wolves a 76-52 defeat Saturday afternoon in the consolation game of the Anaconda Sports & The Rock Seton Hall Classic.
Seton Hall got 16 points each from junior Ebonie Williams and sophomore Kandice Green, while senior Nicole Emery and freshman Terry Green each added 10 points.
The Pirates led by just three at 11-8 following a three-pointer from Hurst with 15:10 to play in the opening half, but went on a 24-7 run over the next nine minutes to build a 35-15 lead. Seton Hall shot 57.1 percent and out-rebounded ASU 24-12 in the first half to take a 46-24 lead at the break.
"I thought early on we played with a lot of energy and were doing things well," said ASU head coach Brian Boyer. "But it was one of those nights when they just couldn't miss. They hit a lot of tough shots and got their momentum going. All of a sudden, you saw us start to break down and give up offensive rebounds, and that is when the lead really got out of hand."
"Obviously, you don't want to get in the habit of getting down, and then as a consolation prize, play better in the second half," added Boyer. "But this early in the year, we are looking for positives, and we did a lot of things much better in the second half."
Seton Hall expanded its lead to 27 points at 53-26 in the early going of the second half, before Arkansas State fought back to cut the Pirate lead to 18 at 55-37 on a free throw from Jefferson with 12:29 remaining. Following a bucket from Emery, Jefferson hit two more from the line to make it 57-39 with 9:57 to play, but Seton Hall answered with an 8-0 run to put the game away.
Senior Lyndsay Schlup led Arkansas State on the boards with six rebounds to go along with six points, and Jefferson was named to the all-tournament team following the final game between Morgan State and Virginia Commonwealth.
The Red Wolves now return to Jonesboro for a pair of games next week at the ASU Convocation Center. Arkansas State hosts Louisiana Tech Tuesday, Nov. 24 before playing host to Missouri State Friday, Nov. 27. Both games are scheduled to get underway at 7:05 p.m