MONROE, LA (ASU) – Powered by a big second half offensive surge the Arkansas State women's basketball team won its third straight game with a 77-57 victory at Louisiana-Monroe Monday night.
A-State (8-5, 3-0 Sun Belt Conference) trailed 30-31 at halftime, but opened the second half on a 6-0 run to regain the lead at 36-31 with 18:06 to go in the game. From that point the Red Wolves outscored the Warhawks (4-7, 0-2) 41-26 to start league play 3-0 for the second straight season.
The Red Wolves' run was fueled by a swing in momentum when head coach Brian Boyer was charged with a second technical foul with 16:16 remaining in the game. That spurned a 9-2 run for A-State to go up 51-38 with 13:54 left in the game.
"Coach Boyer has the team so we prepared that when they face a little bit of adversity that they don't miss a beat," A-State assistant coach Aaron Kalhoff said. "The girls did a great job of picking up their effort and attention and played for him and his attention to detail and his ability to prepare the girls really showed in the second half."
Khadija Brown-Haywood tied a career-high with 21 points and pulled down six rebounds, while Aundrea Gamble scored 16 points and dished out four assists. Amanda Lawson chipped in with nine points while Jasmine Hunt and Jamie Ruffins pulled down five rebounds each.
The Red Wolves did the bulk of their damage in the second half. The team shot a blistering 51.7 percent (15-of-29) from the field and knocked down 15-of-16 (93.8 percent) from the free throw line. Gamble scored 13 points in the second half, including a perfect 5-of-5 from the foul line. Brown-Haywood added 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting in the half and turned up the defensive pressure and forced the Warhawks into 12 turnovers, which turned into 17 points on the offensive end.
A-State struggled to knock down shots in the first half and fell behind 14-10 after a 7-0 run by the Warhawks to go up 14-10 with 9:29 to go in the half. ULM maintained the five-point advantage throughout much of the half as the Red Wolves hurt themselves on the offensive end with eight turnovers after committing just five in their previous outing.
Gamble scored her first points of the half with 18 seconds to go with a pair of free throws to cut the gap to 31-29 and then hit another one with six left in the half to make it a one point game at the break.
For the game the Red Wolves shot 42.6 percent (23-of-54) from the floor and hit 77.8 percent (28-of-36) of shots from the free throw line. The team finished with 13 turnovers, but had just five in the second half and held the Warhawks to just 33.3 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes.
The squad will return to action Thursday, Jan. 8 at home against Lousiana-Monroe. The game is set for a 5:05 p.m. tip and can be heard live on 95.3FM The Ticket/970AM KNEA or online at AStateRedWolves.com. Live video streaming will be provided in the StateZone with a paid subscription.
Tickets for the 2014-15 campaign are on sale and be purchases online at tickets.astate.edu or by calling the A-State Ticket Office at 1-888-ASUFANS.
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