Jonesboro, AR (A-State) – Junior guard Akasha Westbrook scored a team-high 14 points and senior forward Lauren Bradshaw added 13 to lead the Arkansas State women’s basketball team to a 73-63 exhibition victory over Lyon College Tuesday night at First National Bank Arena.
Set to play their season opener Saturday at Indiana, the Red Wolves concluded their preseason schedule with a 2-0 record after also picking up an 83-52 win against Arkansas-Monticello last Thursday. A-State now holds a 26-0 record in exhibition games since the 2005-06 season.
Thirteen A-State players saw action against the Scots, including 10 who registered at least nine minutes of playing time. The squad got 27 points from its bench, led by sophomore guard Payton Tennison and freshman forward Peyton Martin with eight each.
“It was a good exhibition game for us and we knew the one thing coming in is that they shoot it really well and unlike last week if you make a mistake, this team will make you pay,” A-State head coach Brian Boyer said. “We did a decent job at times and built a nice margin at the half, but we just got careless at times and had too many turnovers in the second half.”
The game’s first period featured three lead changes and four ties, including a 13-13 score with 26 seconds remaining. However, sophomore guard Starr Taylor ended the period with a layup as time expired to give the Red Wolves the lead for the remainder of the game.
A-State scored the first eight points of the second period to give the Red Wolves their first double-figure lead, 23-13, at the 6:48 mark. Arkansas State’s advantage reached a game-high 17 points, 41-24, with 32 second left before the break. The Red Wolves went on to outscore the Scots 26-13 in the period and take a 41-26 halftime lead.
Still trailing 53-39 with 3:32 left in the third period, Lyon went on a 12-5 run to cut its deficit to 58-51 heading into the final period. A-State responded with an 8-2 run over the first three minutes of the fourth to push its lead back to 13 points, and Lyon wasn’t able to get closer than eight points the rest of the way.
Although Arkansas State connected on just 4-of-23 three pointers, it shot 39.7 percent from the field in comparison to Lyon’s .365 percentage. The Scots made eight three pointers and were 9-of-10 at the charity stripe, while the Red Wolves hit 61.1 percent of their free throws.
Led by Westrbook with a game-high eight rebounds, A-State held a narrow 45-42 advantage on the boards. Westbrook was also responsible for four assists and four steals, both team highs, and Bradshaw collected five of the team’s eight blocks. The Red Wolves recorded 13 steals as a team and was able to score 23 points off 24 Lyon turnovers.
“I liked our ability to score inside. Lauren went 5-for-8 and that is a positive for her,” Boyer said. “We had 22 offensive rebounds and that is good, but I do think we need to finish better but overall I liked the way we were able to move things on the inside.”
Lyon was led by three players scoring in double figures, including Liz Henderson and Ali Tucker with a team-high 14 points each. Allison Tackett came off the bench to add 11 points for the Scots.
Arkansas State’s season-opener Saturday, Nov. 11, at Indiana is set to tip at 1:00 p.m. The Red Wolves will begin the year with a three-game road swing before facing UT Martin Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 7:00 p.m. in their home opener.