TROY, AL (A-STATE) – The Arkansas State women’s basketball team opened the Sun Belt Conference season with an impressive 101-81 victory over Troy Wednesday afternoon at Trojan Arena.
Amanda Lawson scored a career-high 23 points to pace five Red Wolves (7-3, 1-0 SBC) in double-figures. She added six rebounds and four assists, while Khadija Brown-Haywood added 15 points and a career best eight assists. Jessica Flanery and Lauren Bradshaw added 12 points each, while Brittany Fowler poured in a career-high 11 points.
“The thing we can take away from this game is that this was truly a team win,” A-State head coach Brian Boyer said. “To score 101 points and to have Aundrea Gamble score only seven of those points, I’m sure not many people would expect that, but it just shows how well this team shared the ball and got everyone involved.”
The Trojans (5-5, 0-1) held a five point lead in the first quarter, but A-State went on an 8-0 run in the second quarter to take a 34-30 lead. Brown-Haywood scored six points to help the Red Wolves outscore Troy 24-10 in the frame.
Arkansas State pushed the lead to double-digits at 45-34 on a layup by Bradshaw with 1:22 to go in the half. Bradshaw enjoyed the best game of her two-year stint with career-highs in points (12) and rebounds (9). She scored six of her 12 points in the fourth quarter to help the Red Wolves win their fourth straight SBC opener on the road.
Lawson did most of her damage in just three quarters of action, after sitting out most of the second quarter with foul trouble. She scored 10 points in the first quarter, and added 13 in the second half to help A-State take advantage of its size down low.
The Red Wolves outscored Troy 58-30 in the paint and had 25 points off 21 Trojans turnovers.
“I thought our transition defense was good all night,” Boyer said. “I thought early in the game we were too passive and in the second quarter I thought we got back to that defensive presence that we have had all year.”
Troy used a 7-0 run in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 57-48, but the A-State bench helped silence the run when Dominique Oliver knocked down a free throw and Fowler followed with a 3-pointer to get push the lead back to double-digits.
Fowler went 4-of-5 from the field, including a pair of 3-pointer, to finish in double-digits for the first time in her career to help the A-State bench finish with 37 points on the night.
Arkansas State’s 101 points were its most ever in an SBC opening and marked the first time since March 5, 2014 that the squad surpassed the century mark. A-State scored 107 against Louisiana-Monroe that night on its way to clinching the SBC regular season title.
The Red Wolves finished with a season-high 28 assists, tied for the second most in school history, and also shot a season-high 54.2 percent from the field. A-State’s 39 made field goals were also the most this season, and also grabbed a season-high 47 rebounds.
The Red Wolves continue Sun Belt road play on Saturday at South Alabama. The game can be heard on 95.3FM The Ticket and online at AStateRedWolves.com.
Season tickets for A-State’s 2015-16 campaign are on sale at the A-State Ticket Office, located at the Convocation Center’s lower red entrance. The ticket office can be contacted at 870-972-2781, and ticket information is also available by clicking on the Ticket Central Page on AStateRedWolves.com or by logging onto the site directly at AStateRedWolves.com/tickets.