STATESBORO, Ga. (1/4/18) – Led by Akasha Wesbrook’s second career double-double, the Arkansas State women’s basketball team defeated Georgia Southern 71-62 Thursday evening at Hanner Fieldhouse.
Westbrook finished the night with 13 points and 10 rebounds. She scored nine points and grabbed seven boards in the second half as the Red Wolves (7-7, 2-2 SBC) pulled away from the Eagles (3-11, 0-3) down the stretch.
Lycia Peevy, one of four A-State players in double-figures, tied Westbrook for the team-high with 13 points, while Jada Ford added 11 points and Morgan Wallace added 10.
The A-State bench provided a spark on the night with 33 points and made the Eagles pay for their miscues on the night with 25 points off turnovers on the evening.
The Red Wolves held the Eagles to just a 28.1 shooting percentage on the night, but the Eagles made eight, 3-pointers through the night to keep the score close throughout much of the contest. A-State shot 37.9 percent from the field and made 16-of-24 free throws, including 8-of-14 in the second half.
How It Happened (First Half):
A-State used a 6-0 run midway through the first half to take a 21-16 and the lead grew to its largest point for the Red Wolves at 28-19 after Peevy scored on a layup with 3:26 left in the half. Georgia Southern responded with a 7-1 run to close the margin to 29-26, but Starr Taylor drained a pair of free throws with 29 seconds to go to set the halftime score at 31-26.
Both teams combined for 19 turnovers in the first 10 minutes and the Eagles went the final 4:09 of the first quarter without a field goal. A-State had eight different players score in the first half, but no player scored more than five points (Ford, Madison Heckert and Wallace)
How It Happend (Second Half):
Georgia Southern cut the lead to 39-36 early in the third quarter, but the Red Wolves responded with a 7-0 run with 1:54 to go to push the lead to 50-40. Peevy knocked down one of her two 3-pointers in the second half during the run.
The Eagles battled back and got the lead down to 68-62 near the end of the third quarter, but Ford opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer to push the advantage back to double-digits, while Peevy hit another trey to squash a Georgia Southern that had gotten the edge down to 55-49 with 7:58 left in the game.
Wallace matched A-State’s biggest lead of the night with an acrobatic up and under layup to push the lead to 60-49. The Eagles cut the lead to 68-62 with 28 seconds left, but the Red Wolves went 3-of-4 from the free throw line in the final 20 seconds to help secure the victory.
· Akasha Westbrook recorded her second career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Her 10 rebounds also tied a career-high.
· Morgan Wallace scored in double-figures for the second time this season and finished one point away from tying a career-high.
· The Red Wolves had four players score in double-figures for the second straight game and the third time this seaso.
· Akasha Westbrook has scored in double-figures in seven straight games.
· A-State has scored 70 points in three straight games and has also done so in four out of its last five contests.
· A-State had 10 players record minutes Thursday night and each one scored in the game, marking the first time this season the Red Wolves had every player that played in a game score a basket.
Quoting Coach Brian Boyer:
“I think start to finish we were pretty solid. We weren’t great but we weren’t bad either. We led pretty much throughout the entire thing and we had some chances to pull away, but never could seem to capitalize on those. Our biggest thing was that we knew they would start in zone and we just did not handle that very well. We turned it over 11 times and we were trying to make plays but we were going for the home run plays and once we calmed down we really did a good job of taking care of the basketball and then we were able to score.”
A-State will conclude its road through the state of Georgia when it takes on Georgia State Saturday morning at 11 a.m. from the GSU Sports Arena.