JONESBORO, Ark. (ASU) – The Arkansas State women's basketball team won its fourth straight game and moved into a tie for first place in the Sun Belt Conference West Division with a 71-58 victory over Louisiana-Monroe Sunday afternoon at the Convocation Center.
ASU now has a 9-9 overall record on the year and a 6-3 mark in Sun Belt Conference play. The Red Wolves are tied with North Texas, who fell to Florida Atlantic on Saturday, atop the SBC West Division. The Warhawks fell to 3-15 on the year and 1-8 in conference play.
Sophomore Hanna Qedan led ASU in scoring with 17 points and junior Jane Morrill added 14 points. Junior Carlisha Wyatt scored 10 points and pulled down six rebounds, while senior guard Ashley Olvera scored seven points and dished out six assists on the afternoon.
"That first half was really good," ASU head coach Brian Boyer said. "We defended greatly and had a good shot on nearly every singly possession. We were patient on getting the ball inside and we had a very good field goal percentage because we had very good shot selection."
The Red Wolves led almost the whole way, taking a 6-4 lead that they would not relinquish when Qedan scored on layup less than three minutes into the game.
ASU used a 12-0 run in the early part of the game to build a 14-4 advantage and the lead to swelled to 34-14 after Qedan knocked down her third 3-pointer of the first half with 7:39 to go before halftime.
A-State led 46-22 at halftime after getting 15 points from Qedan and nine from Morrill. The Red Wolves shot 58.6 percent from the field in the first half and scored a season high 46 points in a half this season. ASU also continued its superb 3-point defense, holding the Warhawks to just 3-for-15 (20 percent) from beyond the arc. ASU also got 21 points from its bench, including nine from freshman Jalen O'Bannon.
ULM outscored ASU 36-25 in the second half and pulled within 69-58 with 44 seconds to go in the game. The Warhawks failed, however, to get the score to single digits and Sandy Jackson knocked down a pair of free throws with 33 seconds to go to set the final.
"That effort and that focus in the first half was really good and that is going to win a lot of games from here on out," Boyer said. "The effort in the second half won't win many games, if any, so we have to find that balance and get to where that first half becomes the constant."
Louisiana-Monroe committed 23 turnovers on the night and A-State scored 25 points off those turnovers. ULM held a 38-34 advantage on the boards, but ASU limited the Warhawks to a 37.7 field goal percentage.
ULM was led by Jasmine Shaw and Ashleigh Simmons who scored 12 points each.
The Red Wolves return to action Thursday with a 5:15 p.m. road game at Troy. They will then return to Jonesboro for a home against Florida Atlantic at 5 p.m. on Jan. 26.