COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (astateredwolves.com) – Led by four players in double-figures the Arkansas State women’s basketball team defeated Tennessee Tech 77-55 in it’s regular season opener Saturday night at the Elben Center.
Aundrea Gamble paced the Red Wolves’ with 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting. She also went 2-of-3 from beyond the arc and was a perfect 2-of-2 from the foul line to go along with six assists and four rebounds.
The senior from McKinney, Texas did most of her damage in the first half with 16 points, including knocking down her first five shots. Dating back to A-State’s (1-0) final exhibition contest against Harding, Gamble knocked down 14 straight shots before missing one late in the second quarter.
“My message was pretty short to the team,” A-State head coach Brian Boyer said.
“I couldn’t have asked anything better out of my team in a season opener. We could have played better, but overall it was a great way to start the season.”
A-State opened the game with a 14-5 run after a 3-pointer by Jessica Flanery at the 4:36 mark of the quarter. The A-State senior, who made her second career start, knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and added a field goal and a free throw to finish with nine points at halftime. She finished the night with 15 points including four 3-pointers.
The Red Wolves built their advantage thanks to early, high percentage shots in the paint and hit 75 percent (9-of-12) of their shots from the field. The momentum carried over into the second quarter as the Red Wolves pulled away thanks to an 8-0 run that pushed the advantage to 41-21 with 1:45 to go until the break.
Brittney Gill turned in a solid performance with 11 points, seven rebounds and four steals, while Khadija Brown-Haywood chipped in with 12 points and six rebounds. A-State led 46-26 at halftime but quickly pushed the advantage to 55-26 thanks to a quick 9-0 spurt. Nine of Brown-Haywood’s points came in the second half as she helped A-State go on a 10-0 run to go up 65-28 with 3:49 left in the third quarter. The Red Wolves held their largest lead at 70-31 after a 3-pointer by Flanery with under three minutes to go in the period.
For the game A-State shot 43.9 percent from the field and held the Golden Eagles to just 28.3 percent. A-State also hit 39.1 percent of its 3-point attempts and hit 18-of-25 (72 percent) of its free throws.
The victory also gave A-State it’s first win to start a regular season on the road in a non-tournament setting since the 2003-04 season when A-State defeated Belmont 79-70.