CONWAY, S.C. (1/25/18) – The Arkansas State women’s basketball team picked up a crucial Sun Belt Conference road win with a 70-63 victory over Coastal Carolina Thursday afternoon at the HTC Center.
The Red Wolves erased a 13-point first quarter deficit and outscored the Chanticleers in each of the final three quarters to improve to 10-9 and 5-3 in the league. Coastal Carolina fells to 11-9 overall and 5-4 in league games.
Arkansas State was led by Jada Ford’s 23 points, which included four, 3-pointers, while Akasha Westbrook collected her fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Madison Heckert scored a season-high 12 points and grabbed six rebounds, while Starr Taylor dished out a season-high five assists.
Coastal Carolina was led by Naheria Hamilton’s 16 points, while Kaylin West added 13 points and Breelyn Blanding finished with 10.
The Red Wolves shot 40 percent (26-of-64) from the field and hit 42.9 percent (6-of-14) of their 3-point attempts. Coastal Carolina shot 37.3 percent (22-of-59), but was just 4-of-16 from beyond the arc.
How It Happened (First Half):
A-State jumped out to a 6-4 lead early in the first quarter, but went scoreless over the next six-plus minutes as Coastal Carolina went on a 15-0 run to build a 19-6 lead. The Red Wolves were 0-9 from the field during the run, while the Chanticleers dominated the rebounding margin at 18-6.
Arkansas State turned up its defensive pressure in the second quarter as the Chants turned the ball over nine times during a 13-1 run for A-State that tied the game at 23-23 with just over a minute to play in the game.
Bradshaw helped the Red Wolves get going offensively with back-to-back jumpers in the paint that sparked a 6-0 run to get within 22-16. A-State continued to stay disciplined on the defensive end and was rewarded with a 3-pointer in transition from Madison Heckert, followed by a steal and layup by Jada Ford to tie the game. Coastal Carolina hit a 3-pointer with under a minute to go to set the halftime score at 26-23.
Both teams shot 34 percent from the field, but Coastal Carolina held a 28-15 edge in rebounding that allowed them to score 10 second chance opportunity points.
How It Happened (Second Half):
The Chanticleers pushed the lead to 32-25 early in the third quarter after a 6-0 run, but A-State fought back and took the lead after Peyton Martin got a put back off a missed free throw to give A-State its first lead since early in the first quarter a 36-35.
After trading baskets, Heckert hit her second 3-pointer of the afternoon to give the Red Wolves a 42-38 lead, but Coastal Carolina answered with four straight points to end the period to take a 46-44 edge in the final quarter.
Ford gave A-State a 50-48 lead with 7:23 to go in the game when she knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner after receiving a wild behind the back from Westbrook as she was falling down. The schools traded baskets for the next minute-plus, but the Red Wolves took the lead for good when Westbrook scored on a put back and was fouled to go up 55-52 with 5:41 remaining.
Arkansas State took its largest with 2:29 to go after Ford knocked down her fourth, 3-pointer of the game, but the Chants were able to close the gap to 67-63 with 32 seconds to go after officials blew in an inadvertent whistle as Coastal Carolina grabbed a rebound on a missed free throw and scored. After a lengthy review, the play stood and the Red Wolves inbounded the ball underneath their own basket and hit 3-of-6 free throws to close out the game.
· Junior guard Akasha Westbrook scored in double-figures for the 12th straight game.
· Westbrook collected her fourth career double-double.
· Jada Ford tied a season-high with 23 points.
· Madison Heckert scored a season-high 12 points.
· A-State is now 9-0 in games immediately following a loss.
· The Red Wolves are now 14-5 over the last three seasons when holding opponents to single digits in any quarter.
Quoting Coach Boyer:
“This is a game where we talked about how you can’t foul Coastal and play without fouling and we did a decent job of that on the perimeter but where we got into trouble was down in the post and a lot of credit goes to them for that and we ended up with kids in foul trouble. We had some tough breaks in there too, but this is a really good road win and what it makes it better is how we were able to come back and win.”
Arkansas State continues it road trip through the Carolina states with matchup at Appalachian State on Saturday, Jan. 27. Tip-off is set for noon in Boone, N.C.