MONROE, La. (AStateRedWolves.com) – Led by five players in double-figures the Arkansas State women's basketball team defeated Louisiana-Monroe 80-68 Wednesday evening in a women's basketball Sun Belt Conference match up at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.
Jane Morrill and Hanna Qedan each scored a game-high 15 points, while Aundrea Gamble added 11 and seven rebounds. Jalen O'Bannon was also in double-figures with 10 points on the night and freshman Jamie Ruffins had a career night with 10 points and six assists.
The win improved Arkansas State's record to 13-7 overall and 7-1 in conference games. The Red Wolves have also won seven of their last eight games dating back to Jan. 2 and are undefeated on the road in conference play this year. ULM fell to 7-13 overall and 3-5 in the SBC.
"I think we had a really good performances from a lot of different people tonight, but Jamie Ruffins really stood out with her play on both ends of the floor," A-State head coach Brian Boyer said. "That was probably as good of a team effort that we've had this year. Aundrea Gamble did not have a typical night for her, but she did a lot of other things and the front line was just really good."
The first half featured big runs from both sides at multiple times throughout the contest. The Red Wolves started the game on 10-2 rally, sparked by back-to-back triples from Morrill and Qedan. The Warhawks responded with an 11-0 run to go up 13-10 that forced Boyer to take a 30 second timeout.
With 10:23 to go in the first half, the Warhawks led 17-16 and were seemingly have their in against A-State's post defense. Jasmine Shaw scored 10 points for ULM in the first half, working down low and getting easy looks at the basket.
A-State refused to let ULM pull away however, as the Warhawks lead never got above six points and the Red Wolves finished the half with a flurry of points. Trailing 25-22 with 7:23 remaining, Gamble scored on a putback off an Morrill missed 3-pointer that sparked an 11-0 run that put the Red Wolves back in front.
Qedan gave A-State its first lead since early in the half with her second triple of the period to go up 28-25 and the lead extended to 34-22 when O'Bannon knocked down a pair of free throws with 4:22 left. The lead grew to 43-30 at the half when Jessica Flanery drained a 3-pointer with two seconds reaming in the half.
Both teams struggled on the offensive glass in the first half, combining for just seven offensive rebounds. Arkansas State a blistering 58 percent (18-of-31) from the field in the opening 20 minutes, including 4-of-9 (44.4 percent) from beyond the arc.
"Tonight was one of the better shooting nights that we have had this year," Boyer said. "We just had people step up and hit big shots. Jessica Flanery knocks a 3-pointer before the half and even though our free throw percentage wasn't great, it seemed like we hit them we needed them tonight."
A-State was never challenged in the second half as the lead never dipped below double digits. With 15:37 to go, Qedan scored on a fast break opportunity after receiving a pass from Gamble to go 54-38. The largest lead of the neat was with 2:29 to go when Ruffins hit a pair of free throws to go up 78-58.
The Warhawks finished with just nine offensive rebounds on the night but did shoot 50 percent (29-of-57) from the field. A-State held the biggest advantage on the boards, collecting 38 rebounds to ULM's 28. The Warhawks also had 20 turnovers, which the Red Wolves converted into 32 points.
Arkansas State will next play a road matchup with Troy on Saturday, Feb. 1, at 5:15 p.m. For in-game updates follow @AStateGameDay on Twitter and stay up to date with A-State women's basketball team by following them on Twitter (@AStateWB), Instagram (AStateWBB) and Facebook (Facebook.com/RedWolvesWBB).