TEMPE, Ariz. (ASU) — Eastern Washington pulled away from a 39-30 halftime advantage with a 15-2 run after the break, and went on to defeat the Arkansas State Red Wolves 72-51 Saturday afternoon in the consolation game of the Arizona State Classic at Wells Fargo Arena.
Miscues plagued Arkansas State (2-5) all afternoon as the Red Wolves turned the ball over 31 times. The Eagles (4-4) scored 26 points off of the ASU turnovers.
Sophomore forward Jane Morrill led ASU in the loss with 12 points and seven rebounds.
"There is nothing to do but go back home and get back on the practice court," said ASU head coach Brian Boyer. "We have got a lot of work to do to get ready for a very, very tough stretch of games in the next two weeks. I never would have guessed this because up to this point, I'm not sure that we have had a turnover against a press all year. And then today with 19 in the first half, it was unbelievable."
"Our shot selection was really good, we shot at a good percentage and played decently on defense," added Boyer. "We just gave up too many possessions with the turnovers, and then it just unraveled in the second half."
After an Eastern Washington bucket to open the second half, Arkansas State got a pair of free throws from junior guard Andi Watson to cut the Eagles' lead back to nine at 41-32, but EWU reeled off nine straight points to take a 50-32 lead with13:40 remaining. Back-to-back baskets from Watson and Morrill trimmed the Eagle advantage to 17 at 62-45 with 5:35 to play, but EWU answered with six straight points to stop any threat of an ASU comeback.
Arkansas State trailed 39-30 at the break after suffering 19 turnovers in the first half. Meghan Lewis led the Red Wolves with nine points and Quinishia McDowell added seven in the first 20 minutes, and the two teams combined to hit 21-of-27 free throws. Arkansas State hit 10-of-15 from the line while the Eagles were 11-of-12.
The Red Wolves finished the game 16-of-25 (.640) from the line and 15-of-45 (.333) from the floor. EWU edged the Red Wolves 39-35 on the glass, hit 13-of-16 from the line (.813) and 29-of-67 from thefloor (.433) on the afternoon.
In addition to Morrill's double-digit effort, the Red Wolves also got nine points and three steals from Lewis, eight points from Watson and seven from McDowell.
The Red Wolves will now return to Jonesboro for three consecutive games at the ASU Convocation Center. Arkansas State will play host to Tulsa Dec. 10, Louisiana Tech Dec. 13 and USC Dec. 17. Tipoff against Tulsa is set for 3:05 p.m., while the Louisiana Tech and USC games are scheduled for 7:05 p.m.