Jonesboro, AR (A-State) – The Arkansas State women’s basketball team trailed Coastal Carolina by just four points after three periods, but the Red Wolves couldn’t overcome a 9-0 run by the Chanticleers to start the fourth as they suffered a 73-65 setback Saturday afternoon at First National Bank Arena.
A-State saw its overall record move to 14-13, and it now stand 9-7 in Sun Belt Conference play. Coastal Carolina won its fourth game over its last five outings to improve its overall record to 15-13 overall and its league mark to 9-8.
The Red Wolves had two players score in double figures, including sophomore guard Jada Ford with a team-high 12 points and junior guard Akasha Westbrook with 10. Senior forward Lauren Bradshaw finished with four blocks and narrowly missed her second straight double-double, scoring nine and hauling down a team-high eight rebounds.
Including Jas Adams with a game-high 21 points, Coastal Carolina was led by three players scoring in double digits. Naheria Hamilton collected a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds, while DJ Williams added 12 for the Chanticleers.
A-State shot 39.3 percent in comparison to Coastal Carolina’s .426, while also giving up 47 rebounds to its own 31. Although the Red Wolves finished with five fewer turnovers, they were just 11-of-19 at the free throw line. The Chanticleers countered with a 15-of-20 performance at the line, including making 10-of-10 in the fourth period to seal the victory.
How It Happened (First Half):
Following three lead changes and one tie, A-State took its last advantage off a pair of Westbrook free throws that put the Red Wolves up 14-13 with 2:04 left in the opening period. Back-to-back buckets by Coastal Carolina put the Chanticleers in front 17-14 before a Payton Tennison three tied the score heading into the second period.
The Chanticleers took the lead for good by starting the second 10 minutes of action with a 4-0 run, and they extended their advantage to nine points on two occasions in the period – the last a 37-28 lead with 2:15 remaining. A-State was able to close the half on a 6-0 run, however, to make the score 37-34.
How It Happened (Second Half):
Coastal Carolina again pushed its lead to nine points, 51-42, at the 2:09 mark of the third period, but A-State also again closed strong with a 7-2 run to make the score 53-49 heading into the fourth.
The Chanticleers were able to take their largest lead of the game in the fourth, going up 62-49 with 6:52 left to pay. A-State couldn’t get any closer than seven points the rest of the way as the Chanticleers made all 10 of their free throws in the period.
· The Arkansas State-Coastal Carolina all-time series is now even at 2-2. The Chanticleers victory snapped a two-game skid against the Red Wolves.
· Sophomore guard Jada Ford recorded a team-high 12 points, scoring in double figures for the sixth consecutive game and eighth time over the last nine outings.
· Junior guard Akasha Westbrook finished with 10 points, marking the 23rd time in 27 games this season she has reached double digits.
· Senior forward Lauren Bradshaw finished with four blocks, tying her second most this season. She also narrowly missed her second straight double-double with nine points and eight rebounds.
· Sophomore guard Starr Taylor recorded a career-high four steals, topping her previous best of three set in four different games.
· A-State dropped just its second game this season when its bench outscores the opponent’s reserves. The Red Wolves now stand 9-2 in those games.
Quoting Coach Boyer:
“There is two things here and the first is that we have to be accountable for ourselves and at the same time compliment Coastal because you could tell they came in with a real chip on their shoulder. They were much more aggressive than us from the start and really carried that all the way through the game.”
Arkansas State will wrap up its regular season next week with a pair of road games, starting with a Thursday, March 1 matchup against Louisiana at 5:00 p.m. The Red Wolves will face Louisiana-Monroe two days later on Saturday, March 3, at 12:00 p.m.