Izzy Higginbottom scores 19 pts, Arkansas State women’s basketball wins home opener

Batesville native Izzy Higginbottom had 19 pts Wednesday as Arkansas State women's basketball...
Batesville native Izzy Higginbottom had 19 pts Wednesday as Arkansas State women's basketball beat Hendrix 95-50.(Source: KAIT)
Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 10:10 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2022 at 11:25 PM CST
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Dominance in the post set the tone early for the Arkansas State women’s basketball team, which scored 60 points in the paint in a 95-50 victory over Hendrix in the team’s home opener Wednesday night at First National Bank Arena.

Two players registered double-doubles for A-State (1-2), with Anna Griffin scoring 10 points with 13 rebounds, while Keya Patton scored 10 points and grabbed a career-high 10 boards her much-anticipated return to the floor after a season-ending injury last season. In 18 minutes, the guard stuffed the stat sheet, handing out six assists to go along with five steals and a blocked shot.

Izzy Higginbottom led all players with a career-high 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting to accompany six dimes and five steals. Melodie Kapinga just missed a double-double, tallying a career-best 17 points with nine boards. Mailyn Wilkerson also scored 17 points, knocking down four 3-pointers for the second straight contest.

Madi Pierce led the Warriors with 11 points and seven rebounds. A-State forced Hendrix into 23 turnovers, including 19 thefts, while winning the rebounding battle 61-35.

A-State started fast, scoring the game’s first six points and leading by double figures at the 5:28 mark in the first quarter after a Kapinga score. Hendrix dwindled the deficit down to eight, but that would be the closest it would get the rest of the night, with the Red Wolves owning a 28-16 lead after the first 10 minutes.

After a Pierce free throw cut it to 11, Arkansas State surged ahead with a 15-0 run to open up a 45-19 lead with 4:23 to go in the half. Higginbottom knocked down a trey with 2:11 remaining, then Kiayra Ellis scored four of her career-high eight points in the final minute of the first half to give the hosts a 52-26 lead at the break.

The Red Wolves kept pouring on the points in the third quarter, going on a 19-3 stretch to push their lead out to 40. A-State shot an even 50 percent in the period and led 80-40 entering the final 10 minutes.

A-State continued to stand strong defensively in the fourth quarter, holding Hendrix to just 3-of-13 from the floor, while Linay Bodden recorded her first career points in just under nine minutes of action. The lone true freshman on the squad scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds in her A-State debut.

NOTABLES

· Arkansas State grabbed 61 rebounds – the most since totaling 61 against Hendrix on Dec. 19, 2021.

· Five players scored in double figures for the Red Wolves for the first time since Jan. 27, 2022, versus UT Arlington.

· Two A-State players finished with double-doubles for the first time since Jan. 20, 2022: Keya Patton and Anna Griffin – both the first of their careers.

· Six players registered career-high points totals: Izzy Higginbottom (19), Mailyn Wilkerson (17), Melodie Kapinga (17), Keya Patton (10), Anna Griffin (10) and Kiayra Ellis.

· Arkansas State improved to 27-5 in home openers since the 1991-92 season and has won five of its last six home openers.

· The Red Wolves scored 80 or more points for the ninth time in 21 games under head coach Destinee Rogers, improving to 8-1 when eclipsing the 80-point mark.

NEXT UP

Arkansas State continues its four-game home stand Saturday, hosting Utah State. Tip-off against the Aggies inside First National Bank Arena is slated for 2 p.m. on ESPN+. The game can also be heard on the radio via the EAB Red Wolves Sports Network station 95.3 and 96.9 The Ticket Radio Network.