Late rally falls short for Arkansas State women’s basketball at Louisiana Tech

The Red Wolves fell at Louisiana Tech 59-56 Thursday in the season opener.
The Red Wolves fell at Louisiana Tech 59-56 Thursday in the season opener.(Source: KNOE)
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 3:18 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2022 at 9:45 PM CST
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A late rally by the Arkansas State women’s basketball team fell just short on Thursday, as the team dropped a tough 59-56 battle at Louisiana Tech inside the Thomas Assembly Center.

A-State (0-1) cut a 12-point deficit down to two in the final minute, but the Lady Techsters (2-0) got a late field goal to fend off the Red Wolves. Arkansas State made 19 of 57 shot attempts from the field (33.3 percent), including 8 of 26 from deep (30.8 percent), but connected on 10 of 12 (83.3 percent) from the foul line. LA Tech shot 44.2 percent (23-52) and won the rebounding battle 37-35.

Lauryn Pendleton and Izzy Higginbottom led A-State with 13 points apiece. Pendleton grabbed six boards and played 39 minutes, while Higginbottom handed out a game-high four assists in her debut in the Scarlet and Black. Melodie Kapinga grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds to lead all players, with fellow newcomer Anna Griffin scoring nine points to go along with five boards.

A-State started red-hot from the field, surging ahead 16-7 on one of Mailyn Wilkerson’s three 3-pointers and keeping the Lady Techsters without a field goal for nearly five minutes. LA Tech scored four unanswered to cut it to 16-11 but Pendleton hit a wide-open three to push it back out to eight. The Red Wolves led 21-16 after one.

The Red Wolves pushed their lead out to 10 within the first minute of the second after Jade Upshaw connected from deep, and then a Higginbottom lay-up and free throws by Kapinga made it 30-18. LA Tech worked the margin back down to seven on a pair of buckets by Anna Larr Roberson, who netted 10 points, giving A-State a 35-28 lead at the half.

Louisiana Tech took a 44-38 lead in the third via a 14-0 run, outscoring A-State 18-8 in the period to go into the fourth quarter with a 46-43 edge.

The Lady Techsters’ lead ballooned to a dozen midway through the final period after a free throw gave Salma Bates her game-leading 17th point, but a Griffin trey sparked a 10-0 run that brought the Red Wolves back within two with just under a minute remaining. A Roberson bucket in the paint once again made it a two-score affair, but A-State had the ball late with a chance to tie down just three following a Kapinga free throw. Higginbottom’s three with 4 seconds left fell into the hands of the hosts, who held on in the final seconds to escape with the win.

NOTABLES

  • Four players made their A-State debuts on Thursday, three starters: Anna Griffin, Izzy Higginbottom, Melodie Kapinga. Tieriney Echols saw minutes off the bench.
  • Kapinga registered a career-high 12 rebounds – 5 off the offensive glass. She played 31 minutes, a career-most for the senior center by 15 minutes.
  • Griffin scored her first career points, tallying nine, while also grabbing a career-high five rebounds.
  • Thursday marked Lauryn Pendleton’s 12th consecutive start, in which she scored 10 or more for the 18th time in her career.

NEXT UP

Arkansas State continues its season-opening road stretch Monday, traveling to UT Martin. Tip-off inside the Elam Center is slated for 6 p.m. on ESPN+, and the game can be heard on the EAB Red Wolves Sports Network stations 95.3 and 96.9 The Ticket Radio Network in Jonesboro.

SOCIAL MEDIA

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.