Jonesboro, AR (A-State) – The Arkansas State women’s basketball nearly erased a 25-point third quarter deficit but fell just short in a 83-75 loss to Troy at the Convocation Center Saturday afternoon.
With the loss, A-State falls to 2-5 in league play and 5-14 on the season. Troy improves to 13-5 overall and 6-1 in the Sun Belt.
Tahlon Hopkins led four A-State players in the double-figures with 18 points, while Brittany Fowler added 14 points. Lauren Bradshaw and Starr Taylor scored 12 points each, while Bradshaw finished with a team-high nine rebounds.
Caitlyn Ramirez led Troy with 19 points and 18 rebounds, while ArJae’ Saunders also finished in double-figures with 18 points.
How It Happened (First Half):
Troy scored the first nine points, but A-State answered with a 16-4 run to hold a 16-13 lead with 2:09 left in the first quarter. The Red Wolves held an 18-17 lead at the end of the first quarter behind 3-of-6 shooting beyond the arc.
A-State struggled in the second quarter, going 3-for-20 (15 percent) from the floor as Troy outscored the Red Wolves 24-12 in the frame. The Red Wolves were just 5-for-14 (35.7 percent) at the charity stripe in the quarter while Troy hit 42.1 percent (8-19) from the floor.
Fowler had 11 points to lead all scorers at halftime, but the Red Wolves went to the break shooting just 26.3 percent (10-38) from the field. The Trojans didn’t fare much better from the field, shooting 35 percent (14-40), but Troy knocked down 10-of-14 (71.4 percent) at the charity stripe to build the double-digit lead.
How It Happened (Second Half):
Troy pushed its lead to 25 with 3:21 to go in the third quarter, but A-State closed out the third quarter on a 10-2 run to get with 68-54. The Red Wolves took advantage of an over-aggressive Troy defense and got to the foul line 11 times in the fourth quarter, most of which occurred during the run.
In the fourth quarter, the Red Wolves got within single digits when Fowler hit a 3-pointer with 5:46 remaining to bring the score to 74-65. Hopkins closed the gap to seven points with a pair of free throw two minutes later, but foul trouble down the stretch slowed the Red Wolves come back.
Oliver fouled out with 4:04 to go and Hopkins later fouled with under to go with A-State down 79-71. Hopkins scored 10 of her 18 points in the fourth quarter and helped the Red Wolves go a perfect 10-for-10 from the foul line.
A-State finished the game 32-of-47 from the foul line, but lost the battle on the glass 69-43. Troy shot 34.1 percent (29-of-85), while A-State was 19-of-64 (29.7 percent). Bradshaw finished with four blocks to give her 100 for her career.
A-State’s 47 free throw attempts were the most this season and came close to equaling the Convocation Center record of 58 set by A-sate in 1994.
Troy’s 69 rebounds were the most by an opponent in Convocation Center history. The previous record was 60 by Central Florida in 1991.
Troy also collected 31 offensive also setting the all-time mark for an opponent in the Convocation Center.
Lauren Bradshaw’s 12 points tied a career-high.
The 24 points scored by A-State in the third quarter was its second biggest quarter this season.
Quoting Coach Boyer:
“The message with this team has been that we are in the habit of getting of having two really good quarters and then just an okay quarter and a really bad corner and you can’t afford to do that against a good team like Troy and we did that. Our first quarter was good and our fourth quarter was really good, but in between we really didn’t handle it all that well. We are still that team that has to work on not having that bad quarter and we find ourselves just in too much trouble during those times.”
“We stayed persistent with things and we stayed zone and I think that stretch where we came back they missed some shots. The other thing that really helped was that we got really aggressive against their press and got to the free throw line early. We missed a lot of them but we still got a lot of points at the free throw line during that stretch as well.”
Arkansas State travels to Louisiana-Lafayette Thursday at 7 p.m. Fans can listen to the game on 95.3FM The Ticket or online at AStateRedWolves.com.