ASU women drop road test at South Alabama

MOBILE, Ala. (ASU) – The Arkansas State women's basketball team fell to South Alabama 53-47 in a Sun Belt Conference game Saturday afternoon at the Mitchell Center.

The Red Wolves (5-8, 2-2 SBC) had two six-plus minute scoring droughts and the Jaguars used a 13-0 run in the second half to build a 12-point lead with 7:14 remaining in the game. The Red Wolves hit just nine field goals in the second half and shot just two free throws.

"We held our defensively, but we struggled on offense and defensively things just started falling apart," ASU head coach Brian Boyer said. "Then they started hammering us on the boards and getting to the free throw line and it was just too much to overcome."

Jane Morrill led the Red Wolves with 19 points, while Ashley Olvera scored eight points and dished out four assists. Carlisha Wyatt paced A-State on the boards with seven rebounds.

Ashley Olvera gave A-State a 36-35 lead with 12:48 to go in the game, but the Red Wolves would not score again until Wyatt hit a layup with 5:13 left. During that span, the Jaguars (8-5, 1-3) went on a 13-0 run to build a 48-36 lead.

Khadija Brown-Haywood knocked down a 3-pointer to pull ASU within 52-45 with 1:41 to go, but the Red Wolves failed to get a stop on the defensive end and put the Jaguars on the free throw line with 20 second left in the game.

The first half featured four ties and four lead changes over the final 15 minutes. Arkansas State led 11-7 lead early on, but did not score a point over the next 6:11. During that span, the Lady Jaguars took a 14-11 but relinquished the lead at 8:50 mark after a layup from Jalen O'Bannon.

After trading buckets throughout the remainder of the half, the Red Wolves took a 26-24 lead after Hanna Qedan converted on a 3-point play, but the Lady Jaguars  hit two free throws with 1.6 seconds left in the half to tie the score.

A-State battled foul trouble throughout the first 20 minutes. The Red Wolves had four players commit at least two personal fouls, while only getting to the free throw line once.

The Red Wolves shot 40.4 percent from the field on the night, while holding the Jaguars to a 33.9 field goal percentage. However, South Alabama won the rebounding battle 44-34, including a 21-7 edge on the offensive glass.

ASU will return to action Wednesday, Jan. 2 for a matchup with Middle Tennessee at the Convocation Center. Tipoff is set for 7:05 p.m.