MOBILE, AL (A-STATE) – Khadija Brown-Haywood tallied her second double-double of the season with a career-high 25 points and 13 rebounds, while Amanda Lawson added 20 points as Arkansas State cruised to a 66-53 victory over South Alabama Saturday afternoon at the Mitchell Center.
Brown-Haywood topped the 20-point mark for the fourth time this season and her 13 rebounds tied a career-high as A-State’s (8-3, 2-0 Sun Belt) post play led the way for the second straight conference game. Lawson and Brown-Haywood also teamed up for big games in the Red Wolves SBC opener against Troy and the pair continued to ride the momentum during Saturday’s contest.
“The first three quarters we did a lot of good things to put ourselves into a really good position to build the lead,” A-State head coach Brian Boyer said. “We did a good job of really pressuring the high post and did not let them reverse the ball and get into their offense. It started with that and we were able to create some turnovers and get out in the open floor and create a little bit.”
A-State jumped on the Jaguars early with active hands on the defensive end and forced 13 turnovers in the first half. Brittney Gill gave South Alabama (4-7, 0-2) the most trouble with constant ball pressure and collected four steals to lead the way.
Offensively, Lawson continued to stay hot coming off her career-high 23 point performance at Troy. She scored 15 points in the first half on 7-of-10 shooting and took advantage of two great passes from Aundrea Gamble to setup easy layup opportunities.
South Alabama turned the ball over four times before the first quarter media timeout and the Red Wolves used a 7-0 run to go up 16-6 after a layup by Dominique Oliver with 2:39 to go in the opening period, but a scoring drought followed the run that lasted 3:29 that allowed USA to pull within 16-10 at the of the frame.
Arkansas State quickly pushed the advantage to double-digits with a 7-0 run to start the second quarter to go up 23-10. Brown-Haywood knocked a 3-pointer during the stretch, part of her 11 point, six rebound performance in the half.
The Jaguars were held to nine points in the second quarter and had just eight field goals for the first half.
A 7-0 run in the third quarter put A-State up 43-31 as the Jaguars went on a four-plus minute scoring drought. The lead grew to its largest point at 53-28 with 9:11 to go in the game, but South Alabama went on a 15-2 run to cut the deficit to 55-43 with just under five minutes to go.
A-State responded with a 9-0, including four straight field goals, to push the lead to 64-43 and quell the Jaguar comeback.
The Red Wolves return home for their Sun Belt home opener Thursday against Louisiana-Monroe. 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.