A-State Women's Basketball knocks off Chattanooga 57-52

A-State Women's Basketball knocks off Chattanooga 57-52
JONESBORO, AR (astateredwolves.com) – Arkansas State used a 26-4 run through the end of the first half and into the start of the second half and then held on late to earn a 57-52 victory over Chattanooga in women's basketball at the Convocation Center Monday night.

A-State (3-2) closed the first half on a 16-4 run and then opened the second half on a 9-0 spurt to defeat the Mocs (4-3), who were coming off a stunning victory over No. 4 Tennessee just five days ago.

The Red Wolves never trailed in the second half and led for 29 of the game's 40 minutes, but needed stops defensively in the final minutes to close out the lead. Leading 56-40 with 6:36 remaining, A-State watched the Mocs go on a 12-0 run to cut the advantage to 56-52 with just over a minute to go. Aundrea Gamble hit the front end of a 1-and-1 at the free throw line to push the lead to five and Khadija Brown-Haywood made the defensive play of the night with a block on Destiny Bramblett's 3-point attempt with 14 seconds to go to seal the win.

"I'm very excited and proud of our team because we have worked very since the Colorado game and I saw a lot of good carry over tonight," A-State head coach Brian Boyer said. "Early on I thought there was a lot of back-and-forth and I thought our team handled that well and then we were able to build a lead and never to me did it feel like we were on a big run and then after that it was just a matter holding on because a good team like that is going to make a run and it is just all about how you handle it."

Gamble and Jasmine Hunt combined for 32 points with Gamble pouring in a game-high 22. The redshirt junior also added four rebounds; three assists and a one steal to add to an already impressive resume through the first seven games.

Hunt scored 10 points, all in the paint, and grabbed six boards. Brown-Haywood added nine a career-high nine rebounds to finish with a career-high in a statistical category for the fourth time this season.

The Mocs led 24-22 with 4:30 left until halftime, but the Red Wolves went on a 16-4 run to close out the half to take a 33-26 lead at the break. A-State was sound on the defensive end and forced the Mocs into nine turnovers in the opening frame and limited Chattanooga's ability to get out into the open court and get easy baskets in transition.

"We stressed the importance of not giving up transition baskets the last two days in practice," Boyer said. "I don't think we gave up a transition point that didn't come off a steal and we made them score over us. The second thing we stressed was their quickness on the boards and I thought we held our own against them in that category."

Chattanooga held a slight 32-30 rebounding edge, but the Red Wolves matched the Mocs' output on the offensive glass with nine boards.

Defensively, Chattanooga turned the ball over 20 times which led to 19 points on the offensive end for A-State, who shot 23-of-51 (45.1 percent) from the field. Gamble knocked her first 3-pointers of the year in the game, including one near the end of the first half that helped send A-State into halftime with a seven point lead.

The lead changed hands six times in the first half but after Hunt converted a layup with 1:47 remaining in the half A-State never trailed again.

A-State will have a nine day break for final exams before returning to the first of four straight road beginning Dec. 11 at Ohio State.

Season tickets for the 2014-15 campaign are on sale and can be purchased online at tickets.astate.edu or by calling the A-State Ticket Office at 1-888-ASUFANS.

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