Arkansas State women’s basketball falls at Oklahoma
A late second-half surge by the Arkansas State women’s basketball team could not quite overcome the hot shooting of (RV) Oklahoma, falling 101-89 to the Sooners Friday at the Lloyd Noble Center.
A-State (1-1) only trailed by nine at the half and outscored the Sooners 33-29 in the fourth quarter, but OU (2-0) shot 55.1 percent from the field to hold off the Red Wolves – including 67.9 percent in the first half and 78.6 percent in the first quarter.
“We trailed by 20-something with 4:55 left and three freshman on the floor against Oklahoma, and we fought back,” head coach Matt Daniel said. “We missed some defensive schemes and they had some kids hit some shots they don’t normally hit. I thought we did a good job of playing the scouting report. We missed some assignments late, but I am proud of the fight.”
Morgan Wallace led five players in double-figure scoring, recording a career-high 23 points and 8 rebounds. The Little Rock native was 15 of 16 from the free-throw line, the most free throws made since Feb. 11, 2007 (Adrianne Davie, 16). Lauryn Pendleton scored 15 points on 5 of 8 shooting, including a perfect 3 of 3 from three-point range.
Trinitee Jackson and Jade Upshaw each added 14 points. The Oklahoma native Upshaw connected on 3 of 5 from deep in her return to her home state. Keya Patton rounded out A-State’s double-digit scorers with 13 points.
As a team, A-State shot 44.3 percent (27 of 61) from the field and an even 40.0 percent from three (8 of 20), while making 27 of 37 at the charity stripe (73.0 percent).
Five players scored 10 or more for Oklahoma, led by 18 apiece from Madi Williams and Ana Llanusa. Taylor Robertson added 17 points on five made treys while Emma Svoboda scored 14 with 8 rebounds. Skylar Vann scored 10 points off the bench for the Sooners with 5 boards. OU out-rebounded A-State 42-31, including 26-19 on the defensive glass.
A-State came out of the gate looking to set the tone, holding an early two-score lead until Oklahoma caught fire with a 16-4 run to end the opening quarter to lead 27-18. The Sooners stretched their lead out to as much as 13 in the second period, but three Wallace free throws and a pair of Pendleton treys cut it back down to single digits before halftime, with OU owning a 49-40 lead at the break.
The Red Wolves cut it to six early in the third quarter on a 3-point play by Jackson before the Sooners closed on an 11-3 run that ballooned their lead to 72-54 after three quarters.
Oklahoma’s lead then expanded to as much as 24 with less than 5 minutes remaining, but A-State fought with all their might to make the comeback. A 13-2 Red Wolves run, which included three-balls by Upshaw and Wilkerson made it a 13-point ballgame with just over 2 minutes to play. A-State cut it to 12 on a Pendleton three before the Sooners responded with a layup by Neveah Tot. Wallace added a pair of free throws in the waning seconds to close out the day.
FIVE THINGS TO NOTE:
Morgan Wallace shot 15 of 16 at the free-throw line, marking the most free throws made by an A-State player since Feb. 11, 2007 (Adrianne Davie – 16). Both her free throws made and attempts are league single-game highs this season.
Five players scored in double figures for the first time since March 10, 2020 versus South Alabama.
A-State’s 89 points scored is the most since Dec. 15, 2020 (93 vs Champion Christian). It is the most versus a Division-I opponent since Feb. 9, 2019 (89 vs Troy). Against foes from a Power-5 conference, the 89 points is the most since A-State scored 98 on March 21, 2005, in a win over Arkansas in the second round of the Women’s NIT.
Freshmen combined for 35 of A-State’s 89 points on the day.
Morgan Wallace’s 23 points is the second-most by a Sun Belt Conference player this season.
The Red Wolves return home for a pair of games next week, first hosting McNeese State at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15 on ESPN+ before hosting (RV) Arkansas at 7 p.m. Friday. The radio broadcast of all A-State women’s basketball games can be heard on 95.3/96.9 The Ticket.
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.
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