Troy, AL (astateredwolves.com) – Arkansas State scored the final six points of the game and held Troy scoreless for the final 2:48 to pick up an 82-76 victory over the Trojans Saturday afternoon in Sun Belt Conference women's basketball.
Brittney Gill's jumper with 1:00 left put A-State up 78-76 and Khadija Brown-Haywood hit Aundrea Gamble on an outlet pass from underneath the basket to give the Red Wolves a four-point cushion with 36 seconds remaining. Hanna Qedan sealed the game with a pair of free throw with seconds to go as A-State avoided losing back-to-back league for the first time since the 2012-13 season.
The Red Wolves had six players score in double-figures, including a season-high 21 points from Qedan. Jasmine Hunt recorded her second career double-double with 12 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, while Gamble also record a double-double with 13 points and a career best 11 assists. Amanda Lawson added 12 points, while Gill and Brown-Haywood finished with 10 points each.
“This was a great team effort,” A-State head coach Brian Boyer said. “You could have named players of the game just throughout the flow of the game with different players stepping up big and I don't think I've ever seen a stat line quite like this. We had six in double-figures and was one rebound away from having three with double-doubles and in a game of the pace there is going to be a lot of stats.”
After trailing by 11 in the first half, A-State fought back in the second half and took its first lead since the 18:10 mark of the first half on a 3-pointer by Qedan to go up 44-43. The lead was short lived however as the Trojans got a quick basket on the other end of the floor to start span in which the lead changed hands four times over two-plus minutes.
Aissata Maiga put Troy up 51-50 on a putback with 14:18 to go and the Trojans held the lead for nearly seven minutes until Gill got a layup at the 7:43 mark to go up 66-65. Troy took the lead back briefly at 67-66, but Qedan drained her fourth ‘3' of the game to put Arkansas State up 69-67 and the Red Wolves would never trail again.
The game was tied at 71-71 with 5:47 to go and again at 76-76 when Caitlyn Ramirez got a layup, but Troy would not score again over the final 2:48 to suffer its third loss of the conference season.
“Sometimes in sports you just can't explain things,” Boyer said. “Early on they had some shots that were falling and then at the end of the game they had a few roll out and those are things in the game that can't be explained.”
A-State got off to the start it needed and scored four points off two Trojans turnovers and forced a timeout just 1:17 in the game, but the Trojans responded in a big way coming out of the timeout.
Troy went on 16-2 run over the next 3:32 to build a 16-6 advantage. The Red Wolves were 1-of-7 from the field during the span, while Troy forward Ronita Garrett scored 10 point in less than five minutes to start the game. Garrett finished with 18 points and 18 rebounds to pace the Trojans.
A-State responded with 8-0 run to get within 18-16 after Gamble converted on and-1 play at the half's second media timeout. Troy bounced back and pushed its lead to 35-24 with 3:17 to go in the half, but A-State responded again got within 37-35 after a 3-pointer by Qedan with just under a minute to go. The Trojans score four of the half's final six points, however, to take a 41-37 lead into the break.
The Red Wolves did not allow Garrett to score again in the half and forced the 6-foot-0 post into foul trouble midway through the half. Qedan led the way for A-State with 12 points, while Hunt tallied nine rebounds.
“There style of play honestly takes the opposing coach out of the game,” Boyer said. “It puts a lot of pressure on your players to make plays and right decisions. It takes away a lot of your set plays and your players just have to get out there and play and our players really trusted themselves and their instincts and it really paid off.”
Arkansas State shot 44.9 percent (35-of-78) from the field and held a 48-45 edge on the boards. As a team the Red Wolves had 23 assists and finished with six steals and five blocks on the afternoon.