Atlanta, GA (A-State) – Led by four players in double-figures the Arkansas State women’s basketball team won its second straight Sun Belt Conference game of the season with a 75-58 win over Georgia State Saturday afternoon at the GSU Sports Arena.
Lauren Bradshaw led the way with 21 points and seven rebounds, while Akasha Westbrook poured in 14 points, four rebounds and four assists. Morgan Wallace added a career-high 13 points and Payton Tennison finished in double-figures with 10 points.
A-State (8-7, 3-1 SBC) took advantage of its inside game in the first half and extended the lead out in the second half with timely 3-point shooting. The Red Wolves also got 29 points off 19 Georgia State turnovers and got 14 points off transition.
Arkansas State also shot well from the field and knocked down 49.2 percent of its shot attempts, while Georgia State (4-11, 0-4) made just 23-of-64 (35.9 percent) of its shots. A-State also shot 50 percent from beyond the arc on 10-of-20 shooting.
How It Happened (First Half):
Bradshaw scored 16 points in the first half on 8-of-11 shooting as the Red Wolves used a 12-2 run in the second quarter to build a 15-point margin.
Tennison gave A-State its first lead of the game on her first of three, 3-pointers that sparked a 7-0 run to push the lead to 13-10 in the first quarter.
Bradshaw helped the Red Wolves stretch the lead to eight points in the second period, but the Panthers responded with two quick baskets in transition that prompted an A-State timeout with just under 8-minutes left in the half.
A-State scored eight straight points in a wild sequence that began with a Tennison 3-pointer, followed by a layup from Peevy that just beat the shot clock. After the make, the Panthers failed to inbound the basketball and Wallace followed up the mistake with a 3-pointer to push the lead to 38-25 with 2:06 to go in the half.
The run extended to 12-2 after Bradshaw made back-to-back layups, before the Panthers hit a 3-pointer to set the halftime score at 42-30.
The Red Wolves shot 56.3 percent from the field in the first half, including 10-of-16 (62.5 percent) in the second quarter. A-State scored 21 points off 12 Panthers turnovers, while limiting themselves to just five turnovers.
How It Happened (Second Half):
Georgia State opened the second half in a press defense outscored the Red Wolves 15-10 over the first five minutes of the third quarter to cut the deficit to 52-45. Baskets by Madison Heckert and Westbrook pushed the lead back to double-digits and a 6-0 run close out the quarter gave the Red Wolves a 62-47 edge.
The lead grew to 18-points after a Wallace free throw made the score 70-52 with 3:49 to go in the game. Wallace finished with 10 of her 13 points in the second half and was aided by a 6-of-9 performance at the free throw line.
· Lycia Peevy made the first start of her career on Saturday.
· Morgan Wallace scored a career-high 13 points.
· Lauren Bradshaw scored 20 or more points for the second time in her career.
· A-State had 29 points off turnovers, marking the fifth time the Red Wolves have scored 20 or more points off turnovers this season. All five times have resulted in victories.
· A-State started its 10th different lineup combination Saturday afternoon.
· Akasha Westbrook for the 12th time this season and for the seventh straight game.
· A-State has scored 70 or more in four straight games and five out of its last six.
Quoting Coach Boyer:
“I told the team after the game that I know the Florida game has probably been our biggest win of the year but I think this may have been our most complete game of the season from start to finish on both ends of the court. This was just a really good performance and I couldn’t be happier for our team.”
“Lauren was really good and I made the comment earlier that we’ve not been a good shooting team this year but we’ve gone two straight games where we’ve gone inside and been able to get teams out of their zone defense and it is because of the way the players have executed and found ways to score.”
A-State returns home to host Texas State Thursday, Jan. 11 at the First National Bank Arena. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m.