Down by seven in the third quarter, Arkansas State put together a dominant fourth quarter, outscoring ULM 24-8 en route to a 64-50 victory Friday night at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.
The Red Wolves (8-1, 3-0 SBC) posted a 20-0 run over a span of nearly seven minutes, keeping the Warhawks (2-7, 0-3) scoreless for nearly eight minutes in the final period. A-State again displayed prowess at the free-throw line, shooting 85.7 percent on 24 of 28, including 12 of 14 in the fourth quarter.
“The fact that it was our first game on the road, I knew it was going to be rocky,” head coach Matt Daniel said. “Even with our jitters, I was okay with our first quarter and obviously the fourth quarter. I was proud of the fight that we had, specifically in the fourth. We turned it up, our energy picked up and we played with better attitudes and more heart. Our effort was also better and we were able to pull it out.”
Jireh Washington matched her career-best scoring output with 24 points on 6 of 10 shooting and 10 of 12 from the free-throw line, while also grabbing seven rebounds. Morgan Wallace tallied 11 points on 2 of 3 from the field and a perfect 6 of 6 at the charity stripe. Jada Stinson added nine points with four assists, while she and Wallace each recorded four steals. Trinitee Jackson notched 10 rebounds for the second time in three games to lead A-State.
A-State outrebounded ULM 29-21 and shot 37.8 percent from the floor on 17 of 45 shooting. The Scarlet and Black was again a force defensively, forcing 25 turnovers, with 13 being steals.
Kierra Brimzy led three players in double figures for ULM with 13 points while Whitney Goins and Gara Beth Self scored 11 apiece. The Warhawks shot 50.0 percent on 20 of 40 from the field.
A-State opened with a 6-0 run and lead 14-7 midway through the opening quarter before ULM went on a 6-0 run on a pair of three-pointers by Goins. The Red Wolves ended the first quarter with a 17-13 advantage.
ULM took a 22-20 lead in the second on a 7-0 run that was halted by a trey by Washington to put A-State ahead 23-22 with 3:03 to go in the half. The Warhawks closed the half on another 7-0 scoring run to hold a 29-23 lead at halftime.
The Warhawks held onto their lead throughout the third, but A-State began to surge back. Stinson drilled a three to cut ULM’s lead down to three at 41-38 with 1:29 to go, followed by a pair of free throws by Karolina Szydlowska to end the period. ULM led 42-40 entering the fourth, as A-State outscored ULM 17-13 in the third.
After a layup by Diamond Brooks made it 44-40 early in the fourth, A-State went on a dominant 15-2 run, including an 11-0 stretch that forced a ULM timeout after Stinson drilled a three with 6:06 remaining to put the Red Wolves ahead 55-46. That timeout would not halt A-State’s momentum, as the Scarlet and Black continued to extend its lead to as much as 18, leading 64-46 with 1:44 to go. ULM’s scoring drought ended with 54 seconds left on a jumper by Maddi Gatte, who ended the impressive 20-0 run.
A-State returns to Fant-Ewing Coliseum for the second game of its two-game set at ULM, facing the Warhawks at 4 p.m. CT on Saturday. The broadcast can be watched live on ESPN+ while the radio broadcast can be heard on 95.3/96.9 The Ticket.
Five Things To Note:
· Arkansas State forced double-digit turnovers for the ninth consecutive game to open the season, 16 or more for the ninth straight game.
· Trinitee Jackson tallied 10 rebounds for the second time in three games.
· A-State improved to 8-1 overall for the first time since 1999-00 and 3-0 in Sun Belt Conference play for the first time since 2018-19.
· The Scarlet and Black improved to 30-16 all-time versus ULM, 12-10 in Monroe.
· Jireh Washington scored in double figures for the fifth straight contest and 18th time in the last 20 games, matching her career high with 24 points.
For the latest on the A-State women’s basketball program, follow @AStateWB on Twitter and @astatewbb on Instagram, while also liking the team’s Facebook page at //Facebook.com/RedWolvesWBB.