JONESBORO, Ark. (ASU) — Arkansas State sophomore forward Jane Morrill poured in a career-high 31 points and the Red Wolves (1-1) overcame a nine-point second-half deficit to defeat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 84-71 Sunday afternoon in women's basketball action at the ASU Convocation Center. The victory over the Islanders (0-3) gave A-State head coach Brian Boyer his 200th career win, making him the first coach in the history of ASU basketball to reach the milestone.
Junior guard Ashley Olvera tallied a career-high 21 points to go along with six steals and four assists, and senior guard Megan Lewis also finished in double figures with 17 points.
Arkansas State trailed 37-31 at the half after shooting just 29.4 percent in the first 20 minutes, but sparked by 23 second-half points from Morrill, the Red Wolves caught fire in the second half, blistering the nets for 53 points. Arkansas State shot .571 from the field and committed just three turnovers in the final 20 minutes.
"Everything that we had addressed and worked on for the past two days preparing for Corpus Christi, we did not do in the first half," said Boyer. "We talked about one-on-one defense, we talked about not fouling and we talked about rebounding, and we didn't do any of that. Quite honestly, we were lucky to go in at halftime with the margin that it was."
"But in the second half, I couldn't be happier," added Boyer. "Something clicked with this group and I saw a fire and some enthusiasm. It was a little of the fire I have been trying to get since the first day of practice. We saw it today, and hopefully, it is something we can build on."
The Red Wolves trailed 46-37 with 16:47 to play before beginning to chip away at the Islanders' lead. Arkansas State pulled within one at 48-47 on a free throw from McDowell with 14:23 remaining, then flirted with the lead on four possessions before finally going on top 58-57when Morrill knocked down a jumper in the lane with 11:12 to play.
From there, the lead changed hands four times before a layup from Olvera and a free throw from Lewis gave the Red Wolves a 65-61 advantage with 8:44 to play. Olvera followed that with back-to back three pointers that made it 71-61 with 7:30 remaining, and the Islanders never got closer than eight points as A-State outscored TAMUCC 53-34 in the second half.
Aftertrailing 26-24 on the boards at the break, Arkansas State finished the gamewith a 43-41 rebounding edge, including a 20-15 advantage on the offensive glass. Sophomore Mekena Randle led the Red Wolves on the boards with a career-high 11 rebounds while Morrill addedeight, including six on the offensive end.
Arkansas State forced 21 turnovers on the afternoon, turning the Islanders' miscues into 25 points.
Center Myeisha Myles scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Islanders.
The Red Wolves will be back in action Nov. 23 when Arkansas State travels to Tulsa, Okla. to take on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Tipoff for Wednesday night's game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.