Little Rock, AR (A-State) – The Arkansas State women’s basketball team lost to Little Rock 73-59 Saturday evening at the Jack Stephens Center.
The loss drops the Red Wolves to 3-14 on the season and 1-4 in Sun Belt Conference play. Little Rock improved to 11-6 overall and 4-0 in the league.
Senior Brittany Fowler narrowly missed tying a career-high with 16 points and seven rebounds on the night, while Dominique Oliver added 15 points and three boards. Starr Taylor also finished in double-figures with 12 points and grabbed a career best six rebounds in 34 minutes of action.
Sharde’ Collins paced four Trojans’ in double-figures with 24 points. Monique Townson and Kaitlyn Pratt scored 15 each and Ronjanae DeGray rounded out the scoring with 12 points.
The Red Wolves shot its second highest field percentage of the season at 45.1 percent, but were limited to just one 3-point make on the night. Little Rock shot 46.8 percent from the field and was 5-of-14 from beyond the arc.
How It Happened (First Half):
Arkansas State jumped out to a 6-2 lead thanks to a hot shooting start, but the Trojans responded with at 15-2 run to close out the first quarter. The Red Wolves were held scoreless for 5-plus minutes and shot just 4-of-12 from the field.
Little Rock pushed the lead to 20-8 early in the second quarter, but A-State began to work its way back into the game and closed the deficit to eight points after a pair of free throws by Brittany Fowler.
A 7-0 run by Arkansas State closed the margin to 27-23 with 4:37 left until the half as Little Rock went 0-for-5 from the field and was held scoreless for 3:22. The roles reversed, however, and the Trojans quickly pushed their lead back to nine and closed out the half on a 6-0 run to take a 40-26 lead at the break.
Arkansas State committed 12 turnovers in the first half that led to 15 Little Rock points, while the Trojans committed just three turnovers. A-State shot 43 percent (10-of-23), while Little Rock was 16-of-35 (46 percent). Dominique Oliver led the Red Wolves with eight points, while Brittany Fowler added six.
Sharde’ Collins led the Trojans with 13 points in the half.
How It Happened (Second Half):
Little Rock took a 20-point lead, it’s largest of the night, with 6:24 to go in the third quarter, but A-State slowly chipped away at the deficit got it down to eight points thanks to a 6-0 run in the fourth quarter.
Dominique Oliver started the run with a layup in the lane and Fowler followed with a pair of mid-range jumpers to cut the lead to 62-54 with 4:53 remaining in the game.
Little Rock answered, however, and drained a 3-pointer following a timeout to push its lead back to double-digits and then Sharde’ Collins nailed another trey in transition to push lead to 72-58 to all but seal the victory for the Trojans.
Arkansas State shot 46.4 percent from the field in the second half and did a better job of controlling its turnovers by limiting itself to seven in final 20 minutes. Fowler enjoyed a big second half with eight points, while Oliver added seven points.
Starr Taylor finished in double-figures for the third time this season and grabbed a career-high six rebounds. She also played season-high 34 minutes.
Brittany Fowler just missed tying a career-high in points (16) and rebounds (7). The senior finished one off the mark in each category. Fowler also led the team in rebounding for the first time in her career.
Madison Heckert tied a career-high with six points and set a career-high with five rebounds.
A-State shot 45.1 percent from the field, its second highest total of the season.
Quoting Coach Boyer:
“The final thought ending this game was that I was proud of this team for the way we fought and competed and really stayed in the thing and gave ourselves a chance at having a couple of possessions from really making this thing interesting in the final minutes. I thought the seniors really competed well, Dominique Oliver and Brittany Fowler, really did a great job for us. You try to get young player to understand what this game is about and you really can’t understand it until you play in it and it was good to see those senior really step up early.”
“We had just way too many turnovers and we had gone through a stretch earlier in the season where we did a really good job of taking care of the basketball but now we have reversed that and we can’t afford to do that against this team. We had several that were just careless and I think it particularly got to us at the end of the first half and really kind of was disheartening going into the break.”
“A positive tonight was our freshman Madison Heckert because as coaches we see what she can do in practice every day and I thought tonight she really did a great job at both ends of the court when she got into the game.”
Arkansas State hosts South Alabama Thursday evening at the Convocation Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.