JONESBORO, Ark. (AStateRedWolves.com) – A big second half run propelled the Arkansas State women's basketball team to a 74-55 victory over Texas State Saturday afternoon in a Sun Belt Conference match up at the Convocation Center.
The win gives the Red Wolves a 2.5 game lead in the SBC standings over the second place teams and pushed their overall record to 18-9 while the league moved to 12-3. Texas State's overall record fell to 12-13 and 9-5 in the league.
Four players scored in double-figures to lead the Red Wolves, including a game-high 24 points from sophomore guard Aundrea Gamble. She also added a game-high eight rebounds, while senior forward Jane Morrill scored 17 points on 8-of-17 shooting. Jalen O'Bannon and Brittney Gill scored 10 points to round out the players in double figures.
Arkansas State led 31-19 at halftime, but the Bobcats scored on seven straight possessions to start the second half to cut the lead 37-34 with 15:43 to go in the game. However, A-State outscored Texas State 30-13 to take a 69-47 lead with 3:17 to go.
The stretch started with an 8-0 after Texas State pulled within three points to go up 45-34. The lead never got closer than nine points after that and grew to as large as 22 points with just over three minutes to go in the game.
"That was a big win for us and a very good performance for us," A-State head coach Brian Boyer said, who tied the SBC mark for league wins at 135. "It started on the defensive end for us and I think that carried over into the offensive side."
After playing just 11 minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, Gamble responded in the second half by scoring 14 points and grabbing four boards in the final frame. She went 6-of-8 from the field in the second half and scored 20 points for the 12th time this season, improving the Red Wolves' record to 10-3 in games in which she scores at least 20.
Morrill helped A-State increase its lead in the first half after Morrill was forced to sit for the final 8:47 of the period due to foul trouble. The Scott City, Mo., native scored nine points after Gamble went to the bench, including a 3-pointer with just over one minute remaining to push the lead to 31-17. She finished with 13 points in the first half on 6-of-12 shooting to help the Red Wolves shoot 41.9 percent (13-of-31) from the field as a team in the opening half.
"I thought that stretch was crucial for us," Boyer said. "It has been a long time since we have had Gamble get into foul trouble and we were up 10 when went out and we were able to extend the lead to 12 at halftime and I thought that was a really crucial stretch for us."
A-State turned up its defensive pressure in the second which led to easy baskets on the offensive side. Gill scored all 10 of her points in the second half on 5-of-5 shooting. She also forced two steals as the Bobcats committed 21 turnovers in the game, which the Red Wolves converted into 30 points.
The Red Wolves shot exactly 50 percent (31-of-62) for the fourth time this season and outrebounded the Bobcats 39-36 and held a 42-34 edge in points in the paint.
Arkansas State will play its final regular season road game of the season on Saturday, March 1 at UALR at 4:30 p.m. For in-game updates follow @AStateGameDay on Twitter and stay up to date with A-State women's basketball by following the team on Twitter (@AStateWB), Instagram (AStateWBB) and Facebook (Facebook.com/RedWolvesWBB).