A-State Women's Basketball cruises past UAM In exhibition finale

From Arkansas State University

Three Arkansas State players scored in double-figures, including junior guard Hanna Qedan with a team-high 14 points, to lead the Red Wolves to a 79-48 victory over in-state foe Arkansas-Monitcello Monday night at the Convocation Center in a women's basketball exhibition contest.

Playing in its second and final exhibition game this season, the Red Wolves used 14 players on its roster and 12 of them registered at least 11 minutes of action. Senior forward Jane Morrill scored 12 points, and newcomer Aundrea Gamble also added 12 while three other A-State players scored at least eight points.

"I think overall we showed some improvements," A-State head coach Brian Boyer said. "I thought we were a little bit better offensively than we were last week, but I thought one of the positives was that Arkansas-Monticello did a good job of switching zone, and we didn't get to see a lot of that last week and I thought our players did a really good job of getting into each of those offenses when needed."

A-State took advantage of it size in the post and scored 42 points in the paint and its defense limited the Cotton Blossoms to just 34 percent shooting while recording 18 steals. Led by Morrill's eight rebounds, the Red Wolves collected 10 more rebounds with 42 to Arkansas-Monticello's 32.

The Red Wolves trailed 16-14 with 10:31 to go in the first half, but Morrill scored five consecutive points in the midst of a 14-1 for Arkansas State, giving the Red Wolves a 24-16 lead.

Senior forward Carlette Wyatt gave A-State productive minutes off the bench in the first 20 minutes, grabbing four rebounds in just four minutes of action.

UAM had difficulty handling A-State's defensive pressure in the first half and committed 24 turnovers. Jalen O'Bannon collected four of the Red Wolves' 13 steals in the first half, and the defense held the Cotton Blossoms to just 6-of-13 shooting in the opening frame.

Jessica Flanery connected on 3-of-8 shots from beyond the arc and finished with nine points while Carlisha Wyatt added eight. O'Bannon finished with nine points and tied Gamble with a team-high six steals.

A-State forced the Cotton Blossoms into 37 turnovers on the night and scores 29 points off those turnovers. As a team, the Red Wolves had 18 steals and held UAM to just 28 percent shooting in the second half.

"I thought our denial on defense was a little better from last week," Boyer said. "Last week got to see how closely things are being called, and got some early fouls and I think we were a little afraid to pressure after that. This week I thought we kept the pressure up and still fouled a little too much, but not nearly as much as the previous game."

Arkansas State led by as many as 39 with 3:18 to go in the game thanks to a 23-2 run midway through the half. Gamble scored 10 points in the last 20 minutes, including a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

With the win, Arkansas State finished the exhibition season with a 2-0 record after defeating Harding Oct. 28. The Red Wolves will open the regular season Nov. 11 in Jonesboro against Missouri State at 7:05 p.m., followed by a trip to Austin Peay Nov. 15 before returning home for a pair of games against UT Martin (Nov. 19) and Kent State (Nov. 22).