Arlington, TX (A-State) – The Arkansas State women’s basketball team lost to UT Arlington 69-58 in a Sun Belt Conference contest the College Park Center Saturday afternoon.
With the setback A-State is now 5-20 on the year and 3-10 in the league, while UTA ran its mark to 16-6 overall and 9-3 in conference play.
Dominique Oliver led A-State with 19 points, while Starr Taylor also finished in double-figures with 10 points. The freshman from Jonesboro, Ark., also added six rebounds to tie for the team lead in the category with Tahlon Hopkins and Lauren Bradshaw.
UT Arlington was led by Rebekah VanDijk with 21 points and eight rebounds, while Crystal Allen and Aysia Evans scored 13 points each. Cierra Johnson paced the Lady Mavs with nine rebounds.
How It Happened (First Half):
Arkansas State jumped out to a 22-13 lead after the first quarter thanks to a 9-0 run that included a 3-pointer from Payton Tennison that gave the Red Wolves an 11-6 lead early in the first quarter.
Tahlon Hopkins helped A-State push the lead further when she blocked 6-foot-5 Rebekah Van Dijk’s shot attempt in the paint and Brittany Fowler pushed the lead to 20-13 with a 3-pointer in the quarter with a minute to go in the quarter.
A-State ended the first quarter on a 7-0 and went 5-of-6 from the field during the stretch.
UT Arlington rebound in the second quarter and outscored the Red Wolves 21-13 in the frame. A-State briefly lost the lead when UTA went up 34-30, but A-State responded and scored four straight to end the half to send the teams into the break tied at 34-34.
Arkansas State shot 42 percent from the field in the opening half, while UTA shot 41 percent from the field. The Red Wolves also held a 21-16 edge on the boards, but UTA held a 24-14 edge in paint points.
How It Happened (Second Half):
Oliver drained a 3-pointer to open the second half and Arkansas State never relinquished the lead throughout the quarter despite going over three minutes without a field goal. A-State was able to maintain its lead due to a poor shooting from the Lady Mavericks as well.
UTA went over four minutes in the third quarter without scoring a point, which allowed A-State to take a 48-47 lead into the fourth quarter.
Rebekah VanDijk quickly scored for UTA to go up 49-48, but A-State took the lead back on a pair of free throw from Oliver to go up a point. From that point, the Lady Mavs used a 13-0 run to build a 62-50 lead with 3:47 to go go.
The Red Wolves cut the lead to 65-58 with 1:21 left, but UTA responded with four straight points to close out the game and prevent an A-State comeback.
A-State shot just 24.1 percent from the field in the second half and finished the game 32.7 percent on its shooting opportunities. A-State also went 19-of-30 from the foul line in the game and committed 20 turnovers.
UT Arlington finished the game with 41.0 percent mark from the field and narrowly edged out the Red Wolves on the boards 39-38.
Payton Tennison set a career-high with 7 points.
A-State was outrebounded by a single board for the second straight game.
Quoting Coach Boyer:
“This may have been one of our most complete games that we have played all year. We still had one little scoring drought in the fourth quarter that probably ended up being the difference but we had a great first and third quarter, and we were able to weather the storm in the second quarter with it tied up. I was still proud of the way we battled and never gave up near the end and got the score down to single digits at one point before they put the game out of reach.”
Arkansas State returns home on Feb. 17 to host Little Rock at the Convocation Center in the first game of a doubleheader. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m.