TAMPA, Fla. (11/17/17) – Arkansas State junior guard Akasha Westbrook recorded her first career double-double in a 98-55 loss at #22 South Florida Friday evening at Sun Dome Arena.
Westbrook finished the night with 16 points and a career-high 10 rebounds to lead the Red Wolves (1-2) on the night. Payton Tennison followed with nine points, including two 3-pointers, while Lycia Peevy rounded out the scoring with eight points.
Kitija Laska led all players with 25 points, to pace six Bulls in double-figures.
South Florida (3-0) shot 49 percent (34-of-69) from the field and knocked down 11, 3-pointers to round out a hot shooting night on the floor. A-State was 17-of-67 (25 percent) from the field and hit 37 percent (7-of-19) of the shots it took from beyond the arc.
How It Happened (First Half):
A-State fell behind early after a hot start from the field by South Florida. The Bulls went 8-for-8 from the field and quickly built a 19-5 advantage with 4:27 to go in the first quarter. Laska went 3-for-3 from beyond the arc during the run and finished the first half with 17 points to lead all scorers in the opening half.
The Bulls closed the first quarter on a 13-3 run as the Red Wolves went over three minutes without a field goal and trailed 30-10.
Westbrook completed a 4-point play to close the gap to 33-18 midway through the second quarter. The junior from Malvern, Ark., finished the first half with 10 points and five rebounds to lead A-State.
Madison Heckert knocked down a trey with 2:17 to go in the half to close the gap to 41-27, while Payton Tennison added another triple with 44 seconds to go to get within 45-30. A free throw from Tayton Hopkins with 12 seconds remaining set the halftime score at 45-31.
A-State outscored USF 21-15 in the second period and shot 75 percent from beyond the arc.
South Florida shot 48 percent (14-of-29) from the field, while Arkansas State made 30 percent (9-of-30) of its field goal attempts. A-State was whistled for 15 fouls in the opening 20 minutes, while the Bulls were called for just six. Despite the differential, the Red Wolves went 8-of-9 from the foul line, while South Florida was 12-for-17.
How It Happed (Second Half):
Westbrook opened the second with a jumper in the paint, followed by a steal and layup from Jada Ford underneath the basket to cut the USF lead to 47-35, it smallest since early in the first quarter.
The Bulls responded with a 10-0 run to push the advantage to 22 points, before an A-State 7-0 run than included a 3-pointer from Ford and a layup by Westbrook to get back within 57-42 with 4:14 left in the period. However, the Bulls outscored the Red Wolves 11-2 from that point in the quarter and held a 68-44 edge to start the fourth quarter that A-State could not recover from.
· Akasha Westbrook recorded her first career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
· Westbrook’s 10 rebounds were a career-high.
· Westbrook has scored in double-figures for the sixth time in seven games.
· A-State is now 0-2 all-time against South Florida.
· 5aThe Red Wolves fell to 19-22 all-time against AAC member schools.
Quoting Coach Boyer:
“The end results looks bad but there were certainly some really good stretches in this deal. We did a lot things right defensively, but we were just facing a team that could hit shots. A lot of those shots in the early part of the game were defended and we had hands in their face and they just made shots and you have to give them credit for that.”
A-State will return to Jonesboro for its home opener against UT Martin. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at First National Bank Arena.