COLUMBUS, Ohio (astateredwolves.com) – Arkansas State outscored Ohio State in the second half but it was not enough to overcome a slow start in the first half as the Buckeyes handed the Red Wolves a 67-52 setback in women's basketball Thursday night at the Value City Arena.
Ohio State led by 27 with just over 14 minutes remaining in the game, but the Red Wolves rallied with runs of 10-0 and 12-2 to cut to 61-48 with 6:40 left behind a solid night from Aundrea Gamble who scored 12 of her team-high 16 points in the second half.
"We faced zone for the first time all year and it was tough for us," A-State head coach Brian Boyer said. "They (Ohio State) make it difficult because of their size inside and because of how long they are and they make it tough to get a shot off and block shots and we did not handle that very well and things snowballed from there."
After giving up three, 3-pointers to start the second half and falling behind 53-26, the Red Wolves (3-3) slowly began working their back into the game. Gamble sparked a 10-0 run with a layup and Jessica Flanery capped the streak with back-to-back 3-pointers cut the deficit to 53-36. Later in the half, Gamble sparked another run that got the Buckeyes (6-4) lead down 61-48, but Ohio State regrouped and was able to keep the ball out of the Red Wolves' scorers over the final five minutes to secure the win.
After struggling in the first half, Arkansas State found ways to expose Ohio State's zone defense in the final 20 minutes. The Red Wolves' non-starters had a solid half and accounted for 16 of the team's 36 points lead by six each from Flanery and Amanda Lawson and four from freshman Lauren Bradshaw. All nine of Flanery's points came from beyond the arc, while Lawson got her points by driving into the lane for layups or getting put backs off missed shots.
"We improved in the second half in our offense in handling the zone," Boyer said. "Our movement was better and our shots were better, but unfortunately we had already dug ourselves too big of hole in the first half to recover from."
Ohio State opened the game on an 11-2 run and forced the Red Wolves into poor shot selection outside the paint. After making its initial basket, A-State went 0-7 from the field and was held scoreless for over five minutes of action.
Hanna Qedan ended the drought with a 3-pointer to get within 11-5 and Brittney Gill made it a 19-12 deficit that forced an Ohio State timeout with 8:14 to go in the half. The Buckeyes responded out of the timeout with a 12-0 run to push the advantage to 31-12 with 3:55 remaining. Lauren Bradshaw knocked a jumper to end the run, but Ohio State scored the final five points of the half to go into the break with a 36-16 advantage.
For the night, Arkansas State shot 21-of-64 (32.8 percent) from the field and was 7-of-20 (35 percent) from beyond the arc. The Red Wolves out rebounded the Buckeyes 41-38, but Ohio State held a 42-20 edge in points in the paint.