Nashville, TN (A-State) – The Arkansas State women’s basketball team dropped its third straight contest with a 76-66 loss to Tennessee State Saturday afternoon at the Gentry Center.
The Red Wolves (0-3) had three players reach double-figures and shot 42.9 percent from the field for the game, but Lady Tigers (1-2) outscored the Red Wolves 24-17 in the fourth quarter and collected 14 steals to prevent A-State from picking up its first win of the season.
Dominique Oliver led the way with 13 points, while Tahlon Hopkins added 11 points. Brittany Fowler also finished in double-figures for the second straight game with 10 points, while Lauren Bradshaw had eight points and eight rebounds.
“Offensively we were fine tonight, but we had some breakdowns defensively that allowed them to score a decent amount point,” A-State head coach Brian Boyer said. “Through two games I thought our defense was further along than we would be at this point and that’s what’s hard because it felt we were starting to get a feel that we were pretty good defensively and needed to work more on offense, but today flips that and makes us have to look at some different things again.”
Hopkins gave A-State a 54-52 advantage with 8:23 to go in the game, but Tennessee State quickly answered on the opposite end to tie the game. Following a turnover, the Lady Tigers knocked down a 3-pointer to push the lead to 57-54, but Fowler answered with a trey of her own to tie the game for the final time. From that point, Tennessee State closed the game out on a 19-9 run to earn the 10-point win.
The Red Wolves trailed by two at halftime, but went on a 6-0 in the third quarter to retake a 47-46 lead after a layup by Oliver. However, the second of two five minute-plus scoring droughts allowed Tennessee State to regain the lead a 52-47, before Oliver ended the drought with a jumper before the end of the period.
Arkansas State held a 22-18 lead at the end of the first quarter and pushed the advantage 28-21 after Brittany Fowler hit four straight free throws after back-to-backs teals from the senior guard.
Dominique Oliver pushed the A-State lead to 38-26 with 5:26 to go in the half, but it would be the last time that the Red Wolves would as the Lady Tigers closed the half on a 14-0 run and took a 40-38 lead into the break.
Eight different Arkansas State players scored in the first half, including seven points from Fowler and six each from Lauren Bradshaw, Akasha Westbrook and Starr Taylor. Westbrook capped a 9-0 run by the Red Wolves in the first quarter with a jumper in the paint to go up 22-16, while Payton Tennison sparked the run with a 3-pointer from the corner.
A-State shot its highest shooting percentage of the year by knocking down 42.9 percent of its shots, and went 7-of-16 from beyond the arc, but hurt itself with 22 turnovers. Tennessee State also held the advantage on the boards, 37-28 and had 14 steals to A-State’s six.
A-State will host Florida in its home opener on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at the Convocation Center. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m.