ASU women fall at North Texas 53-51

DENTON, Texas. ( — The Arkansas State women's basketball team fell to North Texas 53-51 at the Super Pitt Wednesday in a Sun Belt Conference game.

The Mean Green led 53-48 with 2:37 to go in the game, but the Red Wolves (15-13, 12-7 SBC) cut the lead to two after a 3-pointer with a 1:33 left. Jalen O'Bannon missed a shot with 27 seconds and North Texas (11-18, 10-10 SBC) controlled the rebound. ASU fouled immediately Alexis Hyder missed the front end of a 1-and-1 opportunity and the Red Wolves controlled the rebound with less than 15 second to play.

With a foul to give, the Mean Green fouled Ashley Olvera before she could get a shot off with eight seconds to play. The Red Wolves turned the ball over on the inbound and the Mean Green ran out the clock to escape with the victory.

Hanna Qedan led ASU with 17 points, including a career-high five 3-pointers, while Morrill finished with 11 points. Jalen O'Bannon grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, while Olvera dished out six assists.

"It was a game of runs and they made the last run when they had to," ASU head coach Brian Boyer said. "We had a huge to start to the second half and that is probably the most disappointing because we had an eight point lead and we turned it over and it just gave them life and energy."

A-State built an eight point lead to start the second half after Qedan knocked down a 3-pointer and Jane Morrill converted a three-point play to give ASU a 34-26 advantage. North Texas battled back and took the lead back at 40-37 after a 3-pointer from Desiree Nelson.

ASU refused to go quietly, however, and the Red Wolves took the lead back at 43-40 lead after back-to-back layups from Morrill with 11:06 to play. Carlisha Wyatt gave A-State a 45-43 edge with 6:41 to play, but it would be the last time that ASU would lead in the game.

"These kids really battled to put themselves in a good position and this was a tough one," Boyer said. "We just have to bounce back and see what happens on Saturday."

The Red Wolves started the game cold and fell behind 15-7 with 11 minutes to go in the first half, but a 10-0 run gave the Red Wolves their first lead of the game at 17-15 with 6:24 to go in the frame. Morrill sparked the run with a turnaround jumper in the lane and Qedan followed with her first of three, 3-pointer of the half. Morill pulled the Red Wolves within a point after another jumper and McDowell put A-State on top with a steal that she turned into a three-point play on the offensive end.

ASU led by as many as five in the first half after Qedan knocked down her third, 3-pointer of the half, but North Texas closed within 27-26 at halftime. Qedan finished with 11 first half points on 4-of-8 shooting, including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc, while McDowell eight first half points.

A-State will travel to Little Rock on Saturday, March 2 to take on Arkansas-Little Rock in the regular season finale for both teams. The game is set to tip-off at 4:30 p.m.