JONESBORO, Ark. (A-State) – Led by a balanced scoring attack, the Arkansas State women’s basketball team defeated Georgia State 76-63 Thursday evening at First National Bank Arena.
Four players reached double-figures for the Red Wolves, but no one scored more than 11 as all but two players scored on night. Lauren Bradshaw led the way with 10 points and 11 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season, while Lycia Peevy added 11 points to tie for the team-high. Madison Heckert added 10 points off the bench and Akasha Westbrook also reached double-figures for the 14 straight game with 11 points.
A-State’s bench provided much of the work on the night as it outscored the Panthers 40-11 it the category. The Red Wolves also took advantage of Georgia State’s miscues offensively and scored 26 points off 17 turnovers on the night.
Arkansas State finished the night 27-of-60 (45 percent) from the field and made 50 percent (6-of-12) of its 3-point attempts, while Georgia State shot 38.7 percent (24-of-62) and was just 3-of-17 (17.6 percent) from beyond the arc.
How It Happened (First Half):
Arkansas State fell behind 9-4 early in the game after a slow start, but crawled its back into things and took a 15-13 lead after a 3-pointer by Jada Ford with 1:36 to go in the first quarter.
Georgia State jumped back out in front to start the second quarter at 22-19, but A-State rallied again to take the lead after a pair of free throws by Ford to go up by one. The Red Wolves never led by more in the period and took a 36-34 into the halftime break.
The Panthers shot the ball well in the first and knocked down 47 percent of their attempts, while A-State shot 38 percent from the field. The bench provided much of the production in the first half for A-State with 23 points as the game had seven ties and seven lead changes through the first 20 minutes.
How It Happened (Second Half):
A-State maintained its two-point edge after the third quarter and led 55-53 before the Red Wolves’ were finally rewarded for the tough play in the paint throughout much of the night.
Georgia State pulled within 59-58 before A-State went on an 11-0 run that pushed the lead to 70-58 with 3:16 to go. The run began with a basket by Peevy in the paint and followed with two more wide open layups from Heckert underneath the basket.
Payton Tennison capped the run with a 3-pointer from the arc that forced the Panthers to take a timeout as the game began to slip out of their reach. The deficit was never under single digits for the remainder of the game as the Red Wolves were able to run the clock out and beat Georgia State’s for easy layups to prevent any type of come back.
A-State outscored Georgia State 21-10 in the fourth quarter and went 9-of-13 (69.2 percent) from the field. Westbrook scored eight of her 11 points in the second half, most of which came in the final minutes, while Bradshaw and Tennison scored six each in the half. Every player that touched the court for the Red Wolves in the second half scored at least two points.
Junior guard Akasha Westbrook scored in double-figures for the 14th straight game.
Lauren Bradshaw collected her fourth double-double of the season (10 points and 11 rebounds)
A-State had at least four players score in double-figures for the sixth time this season.
A-State is now 7-1 on the season when its bench outscores the opponent’s bench by more than 10 points. The 40 points by the bench are tied for the second most this season and marked the second time in three games the bench has scored 40 points.
The Red Wolves are now 181-35 under Brian Boyer when the team scores at least 70 points in a game and 9-1 when it happens this season.
Quoting Coach Boyer:
“To me this game wasn’t one where it was where I delivered an ‘X’s and O’s’ type of message, but it was one more about playing hard. I was not real impressed with our effort in the first half and at times this year we have been tentative at home and I think the first half was another case of that. The message at halftime was really to just play harder and we did. Peyton Martin came in and gave us a huge lift just with her effort on the boards and then Tayton Hopkins was diving all over the place for loose balls and then the effort led to us staring to play better.”
Arkansas State continues its home stand Saturday as it takes on Georgia Southern at First National Bank Arena. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m.