Izzy Higginbottom drops career high 26 pts, Arkansas State women’s basketball wins Saturday in OT
Izzy Higginbottom dropped a career-high 26 points as the Arkansas State women’s basketball team shut out Kansas City in overtime en route to a 79-68 victory Saturday inside First National Bank Arena.
A-State (3-3) closed the contest on a 22-4 run over the final five minutes of regulation and overtime, including 11-0 in the extra period. The Red Wolves battled back from a fourth-quarter deficit and held the Roos (2-4) to 1-of-9 shooting down the stretch.
Higginbottom led all players with her first career 20-point showing, connecting on 9 of 19 shots, including 3 of 5 from long range and 5 of 5 at the free-throw line. Lauryn Pendleton added her second career double-double with 12 points and 10 boards while Kiayra Ellis chipped in a career-best 10 points in the start.
Three players, including Pendleton, grabbed double-digit rebounds for A-State with Melodie Kapinga and Anna Griffin accounting for 11 and 10, respectively.
The Red Wolves shot 40.3 percent from the floor (29-72) and 44.4 percent from deep (8-18), while going 13 of 17 at the charity stripe (76.5 percent). A-State’s bench outscored the Roos 20-4, while the Scarlet and Black scored 16 points off 16 turnovers.
Two players registered 20 or more points for Kansas City, led by E’Lease Stafford’s 24 points. Sanaa’ St. Andre added 23 points and eight assists. The Roos out-rebounded a-State 46-45, with Dani Winslow grabbing 16 boards.
A-State started hot, surging to an 11-3 lead before the Roos punched back to tie it at 16 before the quarter break, with St. Andre knocking down a floater with 3 seconds left in the period.
Kansas City took the lead midway through the second on a trey by Stafford at the 5:30 mark and stretched it out to two scores when St. Andre hit another jumper to make it 33-29 with 1:33 left in the half. After a Tamia Ugass field goal made it 35-31 with under a minute remaining, A-State closed on a 7-0 spurt to end the half, capped by a 3-point play by Higginbottom to give the hosts a 38-35 halftime edge.
The Red Wolves opened the second half by hitting three of their first four shots to open up a 48-41 lead and force a timeout just under three minutes into the quarter. Kansas City bounced back to end the quarter on a 16-4 run and lead 57-52 going into the fourth.
Ellis opened the fourth with a layup to make it a one-score affair before Stafford later connected from deep to give Kansas City its largest lead at 64-57 with 5:35 to play. A-State’s fourth-quarter surge then began on a transition trey by Keya Patton, who scored five of her eight points in the fourth quarter and overtime. Back-to-back layups by Kapinga and Pendleton then squared it at 64 with just over 3 minutes remaining.
Stafford knocked down a jumper at the 2:42 mark to once again put her team ahead, but Higginbottom hit a pair of clutch free throws to tie it at 66-all. A Griffin second-chance bucket moved A-State ahead by two, then Stafford tied it at 68 with two free throws. Kapinga was fouled with just over a second left, but could not convert at the line, sending the Red Wolves into overtime for the first time under head coach Destinee Rogers.
In the extra five minutes, A-State dominated on both ends of the floor, forcing three turnovers and holding the Roos to 0-of-5 from the field. Pendleton opened the period with a score and later put the contest away with a trey with 43 seconds left.
· Saturday’s game marked Arkansas State’s first overtime contest under Destinee Rogers.
· Izzy Higginbottom led Arkansas State with a career-high 26 points – the first 20-point game of her collegiate career.
· Lauryn Pendleton registered 12 points and 11 rebounds for the second double-double of her career.
· Kiayra Ellis added a career-high 10 points in her first start of the season.
· Anna Griffin tallied 10 rebounds, giving her double-figure boards in four of six games to open the season.
· Keya Patton tied her career high in assists with six.
· A-State had three players with 10 or more rebounds for the first time since Dec. 19, 2021 (3 vs Hendrix).
· Arkansas State scored 30 or more points in the paint for the fourth consecutive game.
Arkansas State hits the road for three straight games beginning Tuesday, Nov. 29, at McNeese State. Tip-off at the Legacy Center in Lake Charles, La., is slated for 7 p.m. on ESPN+. The contest can also be heard live via the EAB Red Wolves Sports Network station 95.3 and 96.9 The Ticket Radio Network.
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