STATESBORO, GA (ASU) – Aundrea Gamble scored a game-high 31 points and Khadija Brown-Haywood added 17 to lead Arkansas State to a 81-73 victory over Georgia Southern in Sun Belt Conference women's basketball at Hanner Fieldhouse Thursday evening.
Gamble scored 17 points in the second half to help A-State withstand a late charge from the Eagles and improve to 17-7 overall and 12-2 in league play. Georgia Southern fell to 4-18 and 1-12 in the conference.
The Red Wolves held a 10-point lead at halftime and led by as many as 15 with 10:25 to go in the game, but Georgia Southern rallied and got within 75-69 with 1:09 to go. Gamble made it an eight point game with a pair of free throws with under a minute left. Anna Claire Knight cut the lead to 78-71, Gamble again made a pair of free throws to push the advantage to 79-71 with 21 seconds left to help close out the game.
The All-America candidate went 11-of-12 from the free throw line and added seven rebounds, seven assists and four assists to close out another solid performance. Brown-Haywood added eight rebounds to go along with her 17 points, which included a 6-of-7 night from the free throw line. Jessica Flanery also finished in double-figures with 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, to round out the double-figure scoring for A-State.
“We are fortunate to get out of here with a win because there is enough talent on this Georgia Southern team to get a win,” A-State head coach Brian Boyer. “We just felt like out we were out of sync all night but we managed and were able to get out of here with a win.”
The Red Wolves got off to a fast start and knocked down 3-pointers on three of its first four shots of the game to jump out to a quick 11-4 lead. Gamble drained two of the ‘3s' while Jessica Flanery hit a wide open shot from the corner that prompted a 30-second timeout by Georgia Southern.
The Eagles battled and went on a 10-2 run following the timeout to tie the game at 14-14. Georgia Southern had success getting the ball inside and finished the first half with 18 points in the paint and outscored the Red Wolves 19-9 over a seven minute stretch to go up 23-20.
Arkansas State responded, however, and finished the first half on a 21-10 run to take a 41-31 lead into the break. A-State scored eight of the final 10 points of the half, including back-to-back jumpers by Flanery who finished with seven points in the opening 20 minutes.
Gamble also took over after the Red Wolves got down and finished the opening frame with 14 points and six rebounds. Her 31 points marked the sixth time in her career that she has crossed the 30-point plateau and the third time this season it has happened. Brown-Haywood added 11 points that included a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line.
“We only turned the ball over nine times and that was huge,” Boyer said. “A number like that really gives you a chance to score on almost every possession and we needed just about every one of them tonight.”
Arkansas State shot 44.1 percent (28-of-69) from the field on the night, but the Eagles finished at 51.6 percent (32-of-62) including going 19-for-30 in the second half. The Red Wolves held a 42-36 edge on the boards and got 15 second chance points.
The squad will return to the court Thursday, Feb. 19 at UALR. The game is set for a 5:30s p.m. tip-off and can be heard live on 95.3FM The Ticket/970AM KNEA or online at AStateRedWolves.com
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