Red Wolves Fall in First Round of SBC Tournament - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Red Wolves Fall in First Round of SBC Tournament

NEW ORLEANS, La. (3/6/18) – The Arkansas State women’s basketball team saw its season come to a close with a 79-68 loss to Appalachian State on Tuesday in the opening round of the Sun Belt Conference Championship Tournament at Lakefront Arena.

Payton Tennison tied a career-high with 16 points, all in the second half, while Lauren Bradshaw closed out her A-State career with 14 points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks. Morgan Wallace also finished in double-figures with 12 points and added four steals and four blocks.

A-State trailed by nine at halftime, but outscored Appalachian State 26-13 in the third quarter to take a four point lead heading into the fourth quarter, but the Mountaineers answered with a 19-3 run of their own over a six minute stretch of the final period to put the game out of reach in the final minutes for the Red Wolves.

Arkansas State concludes it season with a 15-15 overall record, while Appalachian State improved to 8-22 overall and will take on the top-seeded Little Rock Trojans in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Lapreshia Stanley led the way for Appalachian State with 27 points, while Bayley Plummer added a double-double with 18 points and 19 rebounds.

How It Happened (First Half):

The Red Wolves used a 9-0 run to jump out to an early 9-0 lead after Jada Ford hit a pair of 3-pointers and Morgan Wallace converted an and-1 play, but the hot shooting would not last as A-State went on a four-plus minute scoring drought and closed the first quarter going just 1-of-11 from the field to allow the Mountaineers to take a 15-11 lead.

Both teams improved their shooting percentages in the second period and the Red Wolves lead 22-21 three minutes in, but the Mountaineers used a 6-0 run to take a 25-22 edge. Appalachian State outworked the Red Wolves on the boards 28-21. Appalachian State took their largest of the half after Lapresha Stanley scored the final five points of the frame to take a 38-29 lead into the halftime break.

Bradshaw scored 10 points for A-State in the first half, while Wallace added eight.

How It Happened (Second Half):

A-State quickly erased the halftime deficit with a 16-4 run to go up 52-46 with 1:28 to go in the third quarter. Lycia Peevy and Tennison helped spark the run with 3-pointers to cut into the Mountaineers’ lead, while Morgan Wallace and Starr Taylor got steals on three straight defensive stands to push the lead to its largest point at 55-48 with 1:05 remaining.

Tennison led the way with 10 points in the third quarter on 4-of-5 shooting as the Red Wolves outscored Appalachian State 26-13.

Appalachian State scored five straight points to take a one point lead at the start of the fourth quarter, but Tennison answered with a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to put the Red Wolves back out in front at 58-56 with 8:16 to go in the game.

The Mountaineers responded, however, and proceeded to go in a 19-3 over the next seven minutes to build a 77-65 lead with just one minute to go in the game. A-State went cold from the field during the stretch as Appalachian State held a 14-7 edge on the boards over the final ten minutes and shot 52.9 percent from the field. They were also aided by a 7-8 performance at the free throw in the quarter.

Tennison scored all of her team-high 16 points in the second half, while Taylor added eight.

Notables:

·         Payton Tennison tied a career-high with 16 points. All 16 points came in the second half. Her previous 16 point outing came against Troy in the quarterfinals of the SBC Tournament in 2017.

·         Lauren Bradshaw finished her career with 176 blocks, the most ever by an Arkansas State player. She now ranks in the top-15 in career blocks among all Sun Belt players.

·         Morgan Wallace scored in double-figures for the second straight game.

·         Starr Taylor finished one assist shy of matching her career best of seven assists.

·         The Red Wolves’ 21 assists are the most in a game this season.

Quoting Coach Boyer:

“The biggest difference in this game was the offensive rebounding and the other is the free throw comparison. We gave them 20 offensive rebounds and they went 21-of-26 at the line as opposed to our own 3-of-7 and that was our own doing. We didn’t finish plays a lot and it turned into fouls and we didn’t rebound a lot and that turns into fouls and then on our end we could never really aggressively get into the paint and Plummer does a great job of playing inside without fouling.”

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