JONESBORO, Ark. (2/17/17) – Beginning a three-game home swing, the Arkansas State women’s basketball team dropped a 60-35 decision to Sun Belt Conference-leader Little Rock Friday night at the Convocation Center.
The Red Wolves saw their record move to 5-21 overall and 3-11 in conference action, while Little Rock improved to 19-7 overall and maintained its spot atop the Sun Belt standings with a 13-1 league mark.
Arkansas State was led by freshman forward Tahlon Hopkins with a team-high 12 points, while senior guard Dominique Oliver added seven. Freshman guard Starr Taylor and junior forward Lauren Bradshaw led the Red Wolves on the boards with six rebounds each.
Little Rock, meanwhile, was paced by three players scoring in double digits, including Ronjanae DeGray with a game-high 15 points and nine rebounds. Kaitlyn Pratt and Sharde’ Collins chipped in 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the Trojans.
A-State finished the game with a 31.1 field goal percentage, while Little Rock shot 44.6 percent from the field. The Trojans also won the rebounding battle 38-24 and outscored the Red Wolves 38-16 in the paint. A-State was plagued by 21 turnovers, which Little Rock turned into 23 points.
How It Happened (First Half):
With the game tied 4-4 early, Little Rock went on a 6-0 run to go up 10-4 just over six minutes into the game. A-State would close the gap back to two points, but the Trojans went on to regain their six point lead, 14-8, at the close of the first period.
Little Rock scored 15 of the first 17 second-period points, grabbing a 29-10 advantage halfway through the quarter. A 4-0 run by A-State would trim the margin to 29-14 with two minutes to play, but the Trojans still took a 31-14 lead into the break.
How It Happened (Second Half):
Little Rock outscored A-State 18-13 in the third period to take a 49-27 advantage into the fourth. The Trojans lead swelled to as much as 26 points twice in the final period before they went on to claim the win.
Tahlon Hopkins scored in double figures for the 11th time this season. She reached double digits for the first time since scoring 10 against Louisiana on Jan. 26.
Starr Taylor’s six rebounds were just two shy of her career-high eight recorded against ULM on Jan. 28. Along with Lauren Bradshaw, she had a team-high six rebounds to lead the Red Wolves in the stat for the second time this year. Bradshaw at least tied for the team-high in rebounding for the 15th time this season.
Lauren Bradshaw recorded multiple blocks (2) for the third consecutive game and 15th time this season.
Little Rock defeated A-State at the Convocation Center for the first time since the 2012-13 season, snapping a three-game road skid against the Red Wolves.
Quoting Coach Boyer:
“We’ve got to respond and bounce back. This is a team that has had a lot of things go against them and we’ve fought and responded pretty much all year, but today we didn’t and I’m anxious to see where it goes from here.”
“(Little Rock) is just who they are – there is nothing surprising that they did. They were just very physical. We tried so heavily to create things off the dribble and we just had no chance today – they were just so physical with us. We couldn’t get by people. So, again, nothing that they did that was out of the ordinary or that you wouldn’t expect – we just didn’t handle it very well.”
“I’ve said it before that there is never an easy possession against Little Rock. Things didn’t come easily and every possession is hard against them, so we just did not handle it well. We didn’t respond to it.”
Arkansas State will continue a three-game home stand when it hosts Georgia State Thursday, Feb. 23, at 7:00 p.m. at the Convocation Center.