Junior forward Shay Scott scored a career-high 23 points to lead the Arkansas State Red Wolves (10-14, 5-8) to a 77-56 victory over the Warhawks of Louisiana-Monroe (9-15, 3-11) Monday night in Sun Belt Conference women's basketball action at the ASU Convocation Center.
Scott was one of four Arkansas State players to score in double figures on the night. Freshman guard Quinishia McDowell finished with 11 points, while senior guard Ebonie Jefferson and sophomore guard Meghan Lewis each added 10 points. Sophomore guard Shania Hurst ripped down a career-high 10 rebounds to lead all players on the boards.
The Red Wolves shot 46.4 percent from the field, their second-highest percentage of the season, while holding ULM to 25.7 percent shooting, the lowest for any ASU opponent this season. Arkansas State blocked seven shots on the night, tying its season high, to help hold down the ULM shooting percentage.
"This is three straight home wins where I was very pleased with our energy and our life," said ASU head coach Brian Boyer. "On top of that, I thought we played pretty well too. I thought our post players did a great job defensively and I thought NeNe probably had her best defensive game since she has been here tonight against (ULM guard Jesse) Carrier."
Carrier led ULM with 21 points but scored just six in the second half after pacing all players with 15 points in the opening 20 minutes.
"I thought Shay was very aggressive and very strong at finishing inside," added Boyer. "We kept telling our players to get it inside to her and they did a great job of getting it there. And 'Q' (McDowell) just makes our team different. When she is playing well, she just brings such energy to our team. I thought defensively she gave great hustle and I think we are a different team when she is out there and playing well."
The Red Wolves jumped out to a 10-point lead with just over 10 minutes gone in the game when Scott worked inside for a bucket, and the Arkansas State lead swelled to as much as 14 before the Warhawks went on a 9-0 run to cut the A-State lead to five at 26-21 with 4:17 to play in the opening half.
Arkansas State was able to push its lead back to double figures at the break, outscoring ULM 15-10 in the final minutes of the half to take a 41-31 lead into the locker room.
The Warhawks pulled within single digits twice in the early going of the second half, but Arkansas State stretched its lead to 16 when Scott converted a three-point play with 12:41 remaining to give the Red Wolves a 56-40 advantage.
Louisiana-Monroe cut the ASU lead to 56-48 on a jumper from forward Larrie Williams with 9:34 to play, but the Red Wolves answered with an inside bucket from junior Breaunna Ellison and a three-pointer from Lewis to push the A-State lead back to 13 at 61-48 less than 30 seconds later, and the Warhawks did not threaten again.
In addition to her 23 points, Scott finished the evening with eight rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot, while senior forward Lyndsay Schlup added eight points, eight rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals.
The Red Wolves will be back in action Wednesday night when they travel to Bowling Green, Ky. for a SBC matchup with the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky. Tipoff at E.A Diddle Arena is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.