Peyton Martin and Jada Stinson combined for 52 points in Arkansas State’s 80-73 bounce-back win over SIU Edwardsville on Wednesday night at First National Bank Arena.
Martin posted a career-high 28 points for the Red Wolves (1-1) while Stinson notched 24 points on a scalding 8 of 9 from the field in the victory against the Cougars (1-1). The redshirt junior Stinson was on fire from deep, knocking down her first five attempts from beyond the arc en route to going 6 of 7. The pair became the first A-State duo to score 20 or more in a game since Lauren Bradshaw and Morgan Wallace did so on March 2, 2018 at ULM.
“Tonight was a little bit better,” head coach Matt Daniel said. “We were more aggressive and it was a good team effort, offensively and defensively. Our effort was better on both ends of the floor. We were more locked in tonight and I am happy to be where we are tonight. To have the opportunity to compete on the floor was a big win. It’s just icing on the cake when you compete the way that we did tonight. "
Martin also grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Scarlet and Black on the boards. Jireh Washington added 10 points, six rebounds and a career-high seven steals in the win, giving her 10 or more points for the fifth straight game dating back to last season. Washington’s steals total is tied for fifth in program history for thefts in a single game. Wallace added nine points, four rebounds and a career-high eight assists.
As a team, A-State shot 52.7 percent from the field on 29 of 55 shooting, while going 7 of 16 from three-point range (43.8 percent). The Red Wolves’ defense forced 21 turnovers, giving them double-digit turnovers forced for the second straight game.
Mikayla Kinnard scored 24 points to lead SIUE while Ajulu Thatha notched 11 points and eight boards. Kinnard also led in assists with four. The Cougars shot 48.4 percent from the field (16 of 37) but were held to just 20 percent from beyond the arc (3 of 15). SIUE edged A-State in the rebounding battle 35-34.
A-State came out strong defensively, forcing six turnovers in the game’s first five minutes, spurting out to an early 8-4 lead. The Cougars worked to tie it up at 8-all on a layup by Mikia Keith before Stinson drilled her first of two consecutive treys. After Stinson’s second three, SIUE led 15-14 on a bucket by Mikala Hall. A Martin layup then gave the Red Wolves the lead through the game’s first 10 minutes.
SIUE took a 17-16 lead to start the second quarter on a turnaround jumper by Thatha, but then the Red Wolves went on a 7-0 run to lead 23-17, with five of those points coming from Stinson. The Cougars worked to tie it up at 23-all before an 8-0 run by A-State that included threes by Wallace and Stinson made it 31-23 with 2:47 left in the half. The Red Wolves took their largest lead of the half at 10 when Martin converted a three-point play with 42 seconds left. A layup by Martin with four seconds to go ended the half, sending the Scarlet and Black into the locker room with a 41-31 lead.
A-State’s lead reached 11 early in the second half on a second-chance basket by Martin, as the Red Wolves continued to keep SIUE from inching any closer than eight for much of the quarter. Jackson made A-State’s lead 13 at 56-43 with 1:21 to go in the third and SIUE made it 56-45 on a putback by Prima Chellis. After a score by Kinnard made it 56-47 with 21 seconds to go, Washington knocked down a pull-up jumper with three seconds remaining to give A-State a 58-47 lead after three quarters.
The Cougars clawed back early in the fourth to trim A-State’s lead down to five at 60-55, but a 7-0 run featuring another three by Stinson helped the Red Wolves expand their lead back out to 12 midway through the final quarter. A trey by Stinson with 2:33 to go made it a 14-point lead at 74-60 and then Washington found Martin on the fast break to make it a 76-60 contest. SIUE cut it to 10 on a three by Tori Handley with 30 seconds to go, but that would be all the Cougars would manufacture until Kinnard hit a buzzer-beating three to end the contest.
A-State hits the road for the first time this season next week, traveling to Pine Bluff for a rematch at Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Thursday, Dec. 10. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m. CT. The broadcast can be watched live on UAPBLionsRoar.com while the radio broadcast can be heard on 95.3/96.9 The Ticket.
· Arkansas State posted 20 assists to 29 made baskets for a 68.9 percent assist percentage.
· Jada Stinson started the game making her first seven shots (5 from 3-point range). The redshirt junior scored a career-high 24 points.
· Morgan Wallace handed out a career-high eight assists.
· Peyton Martin’s career-high 28 points gives her 907 for her career. She needs 93 to reach 1,000 career points. Martin also grabbed eight rebounds, moving her closer to the 500 mark (435).
· With the 20-point performances by Martin and Stinson, A-State had two players with 20 or more points for the first time since March 2, 2018 (Morgan Wallace and Lauren Bradshaw).
· Jireh Washington swiped seven steals – tied for fifth most in a single game. She also scored 10 points, giving her double-digits in six straight and 12 of her last 13 games dating back to last season
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