MONROE, LA (astateredwolves.com) – The Arkansas State women’s basketball team’s historic run continued Saturday afternoon with a 78-64 victory over Louisiana-Monroe at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.
With the victory, A-State captured the best start in school history at 20-3 and tied a school record with its 14 consecutive win to remain undefeated in Sun Belt Conference play.
“It was never our goal to be 20-3 and win 14 straight,” A-State head coach Brian Boyer said. “Our goal is to win the conference tournament and get to the NCAA Tournament, but when you look back when this all said and done this is a pretty cool deal. When you look back at the history of women’s basketball at Arkansas State, no other team could do this and this is something this team should be proud of.”
Khadija Brown-Haywood tied a career-high with 29 points and grabbed seven boards to pace the Red Wolves (20-3, 14-0 SBC), who have now won 20 games for the 12th in their history and for the sixth time in the Boyer era.
The senior from Centralia, Ill., dominated in the first half and helped the Red Wolves to a 38-25 advantage at the break. She scored eight points in the game’s first three minutes and finished the opening 20 minutes with 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting and added five rebounds.
Arkansas State used a 12-0 in the first quarter to build a 22-9 advantage, which included six points from Brown-Haywood.
ULM (9-14, 3-11) went scoreless for over four minutes during the A-State, including a 0-6 stint from the field and turned the ball over three times.
Jessica Flanery helped A-State jump out to an 8-0 lead with a 3-pointer from the corner that gave A-State a 35-16 advantage. Brown-Haywood added a 3-pointer with 3:48 remaining to give her a team-high 19 points, but ULM closed the half on a 7-0 run and held A-State scoreless for the final 3:48 to close within 38-25.
Flanery finished the game with 14 points, including four 3-pointers, while Aundrea Gamble added 12 points and six assists. Lauren Bradshaw just missed tying a career-high with 11 points, and also pulled down six rebounds.
The Warhawks cut the deficit to 41-31 early in the third quarter, but the Red Wolves responded with a 7-0 that was capped with a 3-pointer by Flanery to swing the moment back in A-State’s favor.
ULM used a 7-0 run to get within 11 near the end of the period, but Gamble took control and beat her defender off the dribble for a layup as time expired to push the lead back to 56-43 to all but end the ULM comeback.
Bradshaw, who made the first start of her career, was efficient in her 22 minutes of work and knocked down 5-of-8 shots she took on the afternoon.
A-State shot 55.8 percent (29-of-52) from the field and also made 12-of-15 (80 percent) free throws. ULM shot 47.1 percent (24-of-51), but committed 19 turnovers on the afternoon.
A-State will return to action Thursday, Feb. 18 for a two-game swing through the state of Georgia with a 4 p.m. matchup at Georgia Southern.