KENT, OH (ASU) – The Arkansas State women's basketball team picked up its first road victory of the season with a 59-44 decision over Kent State Wednesday night at the M.A.C. Center.
Redshirt junior guard Brittney Gill scored a career-high 14 points and grabbed five rebounds to lead a balanced A-State (4-4) scoring attack. Senior guard Hanna Qedan added 11 points, while redshirt junior guard Aundrea Gamble just missed double-figures with nine points. Arkansas State also got 29 points from its bench, led by redshirt junior Amanda Lawson's eight and junior Jessica Flanery's seven. In all seven different players scored for A-State as the Red Wolves pulled away midway through the first half and never relinquished the lead.
A-State trailed by nine twice in the first half after the Golden Flashes (1-8) opened the game on a 9-0 run and then held a 15-6 advantage with 13:29 to go in the half, but it would be all A-State from that point on.
Flanery sparked a 10-0 run for the Red Wolves with a 3-pointer from the right corner and Qedan gave the Red Wolves their first lead of the night at 15-14 with a pull up jumper with 10:09 remaining. Kent State took the lead back at 19-17, but the Red Wolves proceeded to close the half on a 13-2 run to take a 30-21 advantage into the break.
The Golden Flashes had just one field goal over the final 8:56 and were outscored 24-6 over the final 13:29. Kent State shot 33.4 percent (9-of-26) from the field in the first half but once A-State settled into its defense the Golden Flashes had trouble finding ways to get open looks at the basket.
“The praise starts with the defense because after they got out to a 9-0 run, we held them to 35 points over the last 36 minutes or so and that is what allowed to get back in this game,” A-State basketball coach Brian Boyer said. “We got back in this game because of our defensive stops and we had a few shots roll out to start the game, but this game was won at the defensive end from our standpoint.”
Gill was active defensively and finished with two steals, but was the cause of several more as the Red Wolves forced the Golden Flashes into 27 turnovers on the night. Qedan added a career best four steals to aid the Red Wolves in tying a team season-high with 14 steals.
A-State held a nine point advantage coming out of halftime, but Kent State went on a small run to get within 35-29 after a layup by CiCi Shannon with 13:36 to play. A-State quickly pushed the advantage back to 14 points with an 8-0 run and quelled the Kent State offensive attack with constant ball pressure. The Golden Flashes went almost seven minutes between points and allowed the A-State offense to find its rhythm and pull away late.
“This was one another one of those teams, like Chattanooga, that forced us to defend for the entire shot clock and really play solid defense,” Boyer said. “I thought we played really good defense and forced them to do that as well and we were able to get a lot of people involved tonight and that makes me feel real good.”
A-State shot 41.7 percent (25-of-60) from the field, while also going 6-of-21 (28.6 percent) from beyond the arc. Kent State won the battle on the boards 38-32, but got just one point from its bench and had no fast break points.
A-State will wrap-up its season long four-game road trip Friday night at Missouri State. The game is set to begin at 7:05 p.m. and can be heard in the StateZone at
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