Boone, NC (A-State) – The Arkansas State women’s basketball team fell to Appalachian State 68-66 after an end of the game official review denied the Red Wolves a chance to shoot free throws that could have potentially tied the game.
A-State had the ball on their end of the floor with 1.3 seconds remaining in the game as Akasha Westbrook drove on the right side of the paint and released a shot after the horn sounded, but a foul was also called as time expired.
After an official review, it was determined that the foul had occurred after time had expired and that the Red Wolves would not shoot free throws for a chance to tie the game and send it into overtime.
Westbrook and Jada Ford led the way for Arkansas State with 17 points each, while Payton Tennison also finished in double-figures with 10 points. Ford went 5-of-7 from beyond the arc on her to way to scoring in double-figures for the second straight game, while Lauren Bradshaw set a new career-high with six blocked shots.
Lainey Gosnell led Appalachian State with 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting, all from beyond the arc, while Bayley Plummer and Tierra Wilson each scored 12 points.
The Mountaineers hurt A-State from beyond the arch with 11, 3-pointers, but A-State’s defense helped force 18 turnovers to combat the hot shooting of Appalachian State.
How It Happened (First Half):
Appalachian State began the game by going 3-for-3 from beyond the arc to help build a 17-10 lead, but Ford helped shoot the Red Wolves back into the game with three first quarter, 3-pointers to get within 25-21 after the first period. Both squads combined to make 10, 3-pointers in the opening 10 minutes and both shot over 50 percent from the field.
The Red Wolves tied the game in the second quarter when Tennison scored in transition on a feed from Westbrook with 5:52 to go and then took the lead on a put back by Tennison, followed by a floater from Starr Taylor to go up 33-29.
The Mountaineers took the lead back with back-to-back 3-pointers, to go up by four, but A-State closed with half with five straight points from Ford, including a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left in the half, to lead 38-37 at the break.
How It Happened (Second Half):
A-State pushed the lead to 49-43 early in the third quarter, but Appalachian State took the lead back thanks to an 8-0 run near the end of the quarter to go up 58-55.
Lauren Bradshaw tied the game at 58-58 with a pair of free throws to start the final quarter and Jada Ford tied the game again at 61-61, but the Mountaineers answered again by making 1-of-2 free throws, but getting a putback off the miss to go up 64-61.
Westbrook tied the game at with 44 seconds to go with a layup off a steal by Lycia Peevy, but Nicola Matthews answered with a 3-pointer for the Mountaineers as the shot clock expired with 11 remaining to go up by three points.
A-State ran a play to get off a 3-pointer for Tennison that missed, but Starr Taylor was able to get a quick put back to get A-State within 67-66 with 2.1 seconds to go. A-State fouled on the inbound play and App State made 1-of-2 free throws to setup the final sequence involving Westbrook.
· Junior guard Akasha Westbrook scored in double-figures for the 13th straight game.
· Jada Ford scored in double-figures for the second straight game and the eighth time this season
· Lauren Bradshaw set a new career-high with six blocks in the game, a mark that is also tied for the second most in school history.
· Starr Taylor grabbed a season-high seven rebounds and was one off her career-high of eight rebounds.
· A-State’s nine turnovers were its fewest of the season in a game.
Quoting Coach Boyer:
“I’m proud of this team and in the pregame we talked about Appalachian State was a team that scared me because of their style of play didn’t really fit us, but we executed really well and stayed in the lanes like we needed to. The worst part of this game was obviously the first quarter where we gave up 25 points in the first quarter and that can’t happen, but we got it under control and didn’t let it get us down. When Tayton Hopkins came in the game I thought it really helped us defensively and we had several others give us good contributions today.”
Arkansas State returns home to take on Georgia Southern at First National Bank Arena, Thursday, Feb. 1. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m.