TROY, Ala. (3/2/17) – The Arkansas State women’s basketball team had five players score in double-figures for the first time this season, but it wasn’t enough as Troy outscored the Red Wolves 90-77 in a Sun Belt Conference game Thursday afternoon at Trojan Arena.
Jada Ford scored in double-figures for the third straight game since returning from injury and led the way for A-State with 15 points. Lauren Bradshaw recorded her third double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds, while Payton Tennison finished with a career-high 11 points. Madison Heckert also finished in double-figures with 10 points and tied a career-high with eight rebounds.
Troy was led by Kayla Robinson’s 23 points, while ArJae’ Saunders added 19 and Lauren Day finished with 10.
Troy knocked down 41.3 percent of its shots to Arkansas State’s 39.7 percent, but A-State held a distinct advantage at the free throw line and went 20-of-27, while the Trojans were just 7-of-11. Troy finished with a slight 48-47 on the glass, but the Red Wolves committed 28 turnovers that turned into 27 points for the Trojans.
With the loss A-State fell to 6-23 overall and 4-13 in conference, while the Trojans improved to 19-9 and 12-5 in the league.
A-State can clinch the No. 10 seed heading into next week’s Sun Belt Conference Championship Tournament with a victory over South Alabama on Saturday.
How It Happened (First Half):
The Red Wolves used a 15-0 run in the opening quarter to build a 15-5 edge. The Red Wolves were able to break Troy’s press during the run and crashed the boards, while Troy went scoreless for over three minutes.
Fowler capped the run with a 3-pointer that forced a timeout by The Trojans. The senior from Leachville, Ark., finished the first half with eight points and two rebounds to pace A-State.
Troy responded with a 10-0 run in the second quarter to take the lead back at 20-18 with 6:18 to go. The Red Wolves never regained the lead, but did tie the game at 22-22 and never by more than five over the half’s final five minutes and trailed 30-27 at the halftime break.
A-State crashed the boards for 32 rebounds in the first half, while Troy managed 16. However, the Red Wolves committed 16 turnovers and Troy scored 13 points off those turnovers. The Trojans also shot 34 percent from the field, while A-State made just 27 percent of its shots.
How It Happened (Second Half):
Arkansas State remained close throughout the early part of the third quarter and closed to within 40-37 with 7:14 left in the third quarter when Payton Tennison knocked down a 3-pointer. Tennison finished a career-high 11 points and also grabbed a season best four boards.
The Red Wolves took their only lead of the second half when Madison Heckert drained 3-pointer from the corner to go up 42-40 midway through the third quarter, but Troy responded with a 10-0 run and went on to outscore A-State 35-29 in the third quarter to take a six point lead headed into the final period.
Despite being outscored, the Red Wolves had several bright spots in the frame, including Tahlon Hopkins who scored 10 points in the period.
The Trojans pushed their to double-digits for the first time in the game when Claresa Banks hit a 3-pointer to go up 70-60 and the lead grew to its largest point when Caitlyn Ramirez got a stick back with 2:50 remaining to go up 88-70.
“We did a lot of good things in the first half on both ends of the court. Offensively we had only seen one time in conference games where they had gotten out of zone and we were able to get them out of it in the first half and we did a good job of executing what we wanted to get done.”
“We had a decent start to the second half but then we started turning the ball over again and just started making careless plays and turned it over 12 times in the second half and when we started making those turnovers and honestly when that happened and they made their run and that pretty much took us out of the game.”
Lauren Bradshaw collected her third double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Her 12 rebounds also tied a career-high.
Payton Tennison finished with a career-high 11 points. It was the second straight game that Tennison has posted a career-high in points.
Madison Heckert tied a career-high with eight rebounds and finished in double-figures for the second time in her career with 10 points.
Tahlon Hopkins scored all 10 of her points in the third quarter.
A-State had five players score in double-figures for the first time since Dec. 30, 2015 at Troy.
The Red Wolves 47 rebounds were the most in a game this season, while its 77 points were the third most of the season.
Arkansas State will conclude the regular season at South Alabama Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. at the Mitchell Center.