JONESBORO, AR (astateredwolves.com) – Aundrea Gamble scored a game-high 22 points to lead Arkansas State to a 61-47 victory over Georgia State Saturday afternoon at the Georgia State Sports Arena in Sun Belt Conference women's basketball.
With the Red Wolves improved to 15-7 overall and 10-2 in the league, while Georgia State fell to 8-12 overall and 3-8 in the SBC.
Jasmine Hunt and Gamble combined to score 27 of A-State's 32 points in the second half and helped the Red Wolves dominate in the paint where the squad had a 32-20 edge. Hunt finished with 15 points and her seven rebounds tied a game-high with Gamble.
The Red Wolves held a 29-20 lead at halftime and opened the second half on a 13-4 run to build a 39-24 lead with 14:34 to go. Georgia State responded with a run of its own and got the lead down to seven at 48-41 after a 3-pointer by Marian Hannoun, but Gamble sparked an 8-0 run with a pull up jumper to push the lead back to double-digits and give A-State its 10th league victory of the year.
“It was a huge start to the half and we got up by 15, then they were able to get some stops and got it back down to single digits on their home court and that gets you a little nervous,” A-State head coach Brian Boyer said. “We settled down after that and stayed in our defense and that helped us withstand that run and close the game out and get a win.”
Georgia State, who was without its top two leading scorers, had trouble guarding A-State in the paint. After scoring just four points in the first half, Gamble scored 14 points in the second half, including six field goals in the paint. Hunt had an equal amount success posting her defender getting good looks at the basket.
In the first half the Red Wolves trailed 12-10 early on, but used a 7-0 run to go up 17-12. The Panthers closed to within 21-19 with 3:59 to go in the half, but the Red Wolves bounced back with a 6-0 run, which included a 3-pointer by Hanna Qedan, to go up 27-19 with 57.6 second to go.
The Red Wolves had their largest lead at the break at 29-20 after a jumper in the lane by Khadija Brown-Haywood. A-State played solid defense in the first half held the Panthers to just 24.2 percent (8-of-33) from the field. GSU had two scoring droughts of 3-plus minutes and went 0-for-10 from the field to close the half.
“In the first half we were really good defensively,” Boyer said. “We gave up a few too many offensive rebounds to let them stay in it, but overall I thought it was a really good effort by team.”
Arkansas State shot 46 percent (23-of-50) from the field while the Panthers were just 19-of-64 (29.7 percent). Georgia State battled foul trouble throughout the game, but A-State struggled at the foul line and managed to shoot 52.2 percent (12-of-23).
Saturday's victory was also the 23rd for Arkansas State in the month of January over the last three years and has just four losses in the month over the same span.
The squad will return home Thursday, Feb. 5 against Troy. The game is set for a 5 p.m. tip-off and can be heard live on 95.3FM The Ticket/970AM KNEA or online at AStateRedWolves.com. Live streaming will also be provided with a paid subscription to the Red Wolves Digital Network.