A-State Opens WNIT with 68-45 Win Over Southern

Published: Mar. 18, 2016 at 3:00 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 18, 2016 at 3:02 AM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (3/17/16) - The Arkansas State women's basketball team defeated Southern University 68-45 Thursday night at the Convocation Center, winning its first-round game in the Women's National Invitation Tournament for the second consecutive year.

Competing in the WNIT for the third consecutive year and seventh time under head coach Brian Boyer, the Red Wolves will play at UTEP in the tournament's second round Monday, March 21 at 8 pm (CT).  A-State increased its school-record wins to 27 and holds just five losses, while Southern's season comes to an end with a 19-12 record.

Arkansas State was led by three players scoring in double figures, including senior forward Khadija Brown-Haywood with a game-high 19 points.  Senior guard and three-time Sun Belt Conference Women's Basketball Student-Athlete of the Year Aundrea Gamble reached double digits for the 88th time of her career with 14 points, while senior guard Brittney Gill added 12.

Brown-Haywood scored 11 of her 19 points in the first period as the Red Wolves jumped out to a 20-12 lead thanks to 9-0 run to end the game's first 10 minutes of action.  A-State continued the run with the second period's first six points to grab a 26-12 advantage with 7:11 remaining before halftime.

Brown-Haywood also became the 23rd player in school history to cross the 1,000-point plateau for her career and now sits with 1,009 points.

While Southern made five of its first eight shots, the Red Wolves didn't allow a Jaguar's basket on their next 17 offensive possessions.  A-State went on to outscore Southern 12-6 in the second period and grabbed a 32-18 advantage at the break.

A-State put together another run to begin the second half, outscoring Southern 10-0 over the third period's first five minutes to go up by 24 points.  Trailing 54-29 in the fourth period, the Jaguars went on a 6-0 run to pull within 56-37 with 7:12 to play, but couldn't get any closer.

"Overall it was just a good performance by us against a good team," said Boyer, who collected his 299th career victory. "Southern had 19 wins and you know that they were a quality opponent just from watching film."

A-State finished the game with a 43.9 field goal percentage in comparison to Southern's 30.6 mark, outrebounded the Jaguars 46-34, recorded four more assists and tallied three more steals on its way to its 23rd double-digit victory of the season.  The Red Wolves also remained undefeated at home this season, improving their record at the Convocation Center to 14-0.