LOS ANGELES, Calif. (AStateRedWolves.com) – Despite outscoring Southern California in the second half, the Trojans defeated Arkansas State 72-58 at the Galen Center in a non-conference women's basketball matchup on Wednesday night.
ASU (0-5) outscored USC 38-33 in the second half and got 28 points from its bench, but could not overcome a 23-point first half deficit. Senior Ashley Olvera led A-State with 11 points, while freshman Jalen O'Bannon scored a season-high eight points, while Jane Morrill and Carlisha Wyatt also finished in double-figures with 10 points each.
"There is no doubt we were very disappointed in our ability," ASU head coach Brian Boyer said. "We made those plays in the second half and we played tougher and more physical and that is something we have to build on."
Arkansas State trailed 39-20 at halftime after struggling to knock down shots in the first half. The Red Wolves shot just 24 percent (6-25) from the field and went over eight minutes without knocking down a field goal.
ASU cut the USC lead to 48-36 after going on an 8-0 run in the second half thanks to a superb effort on the defensive end. The Red Wolves pressured the Trojans consistently in the second half and helped slow the USC attack. The Trojans hit just four field goals in the first 10 minutes of the half, but USC's lead was simply too much for A-State to overcome.
The Trojans led by as many as 23 in the first half, but ASU closed the frame on an 8-3 run that was sparked by an impressive effort on the defensive end of the court. The Red Wolves forced USC into 12 turnovers, but was only able to score four points off those turnovers.
USC started the game on a 16-6 run and pushed the lead to 36-13 with 3:02 left in the first half. Sandy Jackson scored four straight points and Jasmine Hunt knocked a jumper to pull A-State within 36-18 with 2:07 left in the half. Following a USC 3-pointer, Hunt knocked down another jumper with 28 seconds left to set the halftime score.
ASU will return to the court Thursday, Nov. 29 for its Sun Belt Conference opener at Florida International. Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m. CST.