Photo Courtesy: ASU Athletics
JONESBORO, Ark. (ASU) - The Arkansas State women's basketball team had its seven-game winning streak snapped Sunday afternoon at the Convocation Center, suffering a 64-62 setback against North Texas in a game that saw Red Wolves' junior forward Jane Morrill score her 1,000th career point.
ASU dropped its first game since Jan. 2, while North Texas was able to claim its second straight victory and cut the Red Wolves lead over the Mean Green in the Sun Belt Conference's West Division to one game. A-State, now 12-10 overall, still leads the division with an 8-4 record. North Texas improved to 9-13 overall and stands 7-5 against conference opponents.
The Red Wolves were led by Morrill, who scored 15 of her team-high 22 points in the first half to help A-State grab a 32-30 halftime advantage. Morrill now has 1,010 career points to her credit, making her the 21st player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark.
Sophomore forward Hanna Qedan joined Morrill in double figures with 11 points, but North Texas countered with a game-high 23 points from freshman forward Alexis Hyder and two additional players scoring 12 points.
"We scored enough points that we could have won that game, but defensively we could never string together the stops that we needed to," ASU head coach Brian Boyer said. "We scored enough points, but we just weren't able to string together enough stops throughout the course of the game."
A game that featured 12 lead changes and 11 ties came down to the final possession, but the Red Wolves were unable to get off a final shot before time expired after cutting a seven-point deficit with 1:26 remaining down to just two points.
North Texas' Desiree Nelson hit a layup at the 1:26 mark to push the Mean Green's lead to 64-57, but Morrill hit a jumper 17 seconds later and added a three pointer with 25 seconds remaining to set the final score.
ASU's Jalen O'Bannon forced a jump ball on North Texas' next possession, giving the Red Wolves the ball back with 18 seconds left in the game. A-State missed a runner in the lane and was forced to foul with seven second left on the clock. O'Bannon hauled in a rebound after the Mean Green's Laura McCoy missed the front end of a one-and-one, but ASU was unable to get a clear look at the basket as a final missed shot from Qedan came moments after time ran out.
The Red Wolves held their largest lead at seven points twice in the first half, including a 32-25 advantage with 1:13 left before the break. North Texas scored the final five points heading into intermission, however, and eventually took its first lead of the second half at the 12:07 mark.
With the scored tied 51-51 and 7:30 left in the game, North Texas was able to take the lead for good on a layup by Hyder. ASU trailed just 56-55 one minute later, but the Mean Green went on an 8-2 run to stretch its lead to 64-57.
"We made a lot of mistakes throughout the course of this game that we had not been making and they just kind of piled up on us and ended being the difference," Boyer said.
A-State posted a .397 field goal percentage to North Texas' .375, but was outrebounded by the Mean Green 43-41 overall and 22-16 in the second half. A-State shot just 57 percent from the charity stripe and 21 percent from beyond the arc.
Junior forward Carlisha Wyatt hauled in a team-high 10 rebounds and scored six points for A-State, which will play its next two games on the road. The Red Wolves return to action Feb. 6 in a 7 p.m. game at Middle Tennessee.