JONESBORO, AR (astateredwolves.com) – Senior forward Khadija Brown-Haywood scored a game-high 21 points and senior guard Aundrea Gamble posted her second double-double of the season, leading Arkansas State to its fifth consecutive win as the Red Wolves knocked off Appalachian State 83-60 Saturday afternoon at the Convocation Center in a Sun Belt Conference women’s basketball game.
A-State, which extended its home winning streak ranked eighth in the nation entering today to 17 games, improved to 11-3 overall and 5-0 in league action. The Mountaineers suffered their third consecutive loss, falling to 5-10 overall and 2-4 against Sun Belt opponents.
Brown-Haywood eclipsed 20 points for the third time over the last four games, while Gamble followed with 20 points to go along with a season-high 10 assists. Gamble also tied her career high with five steals, and Jessica Flanery and Brittney Gill added 12 and 11 points, respectively, for the Red Wolves.
“Drea was really good tonight double-double and what was more impressive than that was the five steals, which all came in the first half,” A-State head coach Brian Boyer said. “Those were all steals that led to points on the other end and I thought she did a good job of shooting the passing lanes tonight.”
A-State shot 54 percent from the field, including a 10-of-14 performance in the fourth period, to score over 80 points in back-to-back games for the first time this season. The Red Wolves’ field goal percentage was their fourth highest this year.
The game’s first five minutes featured three ties, but A-State was able to take a lead it wouldn’t relinquish when Flanery hit a three that put the Red Wolves on top 10-7 with 5:51 left in the first period. Still holding a slight edge at 14-13, the Red Wolves ended the period’s final minute with an 8-0 run.
The second 10 minutes saw A-State outscore Appalachian State 20-8 to build a 41-21 halftime advantage. The Red Wolves limited App State to a .267 shooting percentage in the second period, the lowest of the game for the Mountaineers, to help them claim the 20-point advantage.
“The second quarter is when things really opened up for us,” Boyer said. “We started pressing a little bit and we are able to get some steals out of that and get our offense going a little bit.”
The third period was the only one where A-State was outscored, posting 17 points to Appalachian State’s 23. However, the Red Wolves responded with their best shooting performance of the contest in the fourth period as they outscored the Mountaineers 25-16.
Not only did A-State enjoy one of its best shooting performances of the season, it limited Appalachian State to a 37.1 field goal percentage. The Mountaineers finished with a 37-35 advantage on the board and scored 17 second-chance points, but the Red Wolves outscored them 52-30 in the paint. Arkansas State was also able to turn 27 App State turnovers into 32 points and had 24 fast break points to the Mountaineers two.
Appalachian State was led by three players scoring in double figures, including Bria Carter with a team-high 12. The Mountaineers’ Mia Marshall also finished with a double-double, scoring 10 points and pulling down a game-high 10 boards.
A-State returns to action Monday, Jan. 18, with a 5 p.m. game at the Convocation Center against Little Rock.