LAFAYETTE, La. (3/9/19) – Jireh Washington hit two free throws with seven seconds to and AKasha Westbrook collected a loose ball with four seconds to go as the Arkansas State women’s basketball team closed out the regular-season with a 75-73 victory over Louisiana Saturday afternoon at the CajunDome.
A-State (12-17, 7-11) led by nine after Washington knocked down a jumper in the lane with 4:08 to go. The freshman guard finished the night with 22 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Louisiana (7-22, 5-13) responded with a 10-1 run to tie the game at 68-68 with 2:50 remaining. The Red Wolves went 73-70 after Westbrook knocked down a pair of free throws with 35 seconds to left, but UL responded with a 3-pointer by Andrea Cournoyer to tie things up for the eighth time on the night.
Arkansas State ran the clock down as far as it could and Washington drove to the basket and had her initial attempt blocked, but collected her rebound and was fouled on her second shot attempt with seven seconds to go.
After making both free throws, Louisiana inbounded the ball after a timeout but couldn’t cleanly control a dribble-handoff and Westrbook collected the loose ball and held onto it as time expired.
“I am really happy for this group,” A-State head coach Brian Boyer said. “This had the same feeling as the other night where we had a lead and then it slipped away, but it was good to see finally respond. Offensively we executed really well all night and on that last possession we did a really good job of just making something happen.”
Washington was one of three Arkansas State players to finish in double-figures. Payton Tennison finished with 16 points, included a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line, while Morgan Wallace added 11 points and seven rebounds.
Saturday’s game featured eight ties and 13 lead changes, but the Red Wolves led for the majority of the fourth quarter with the Ragin’ Cajuns taking a brief one point lead. Both teams shot the ball extremely well with A-State converting on 47.2 percent of its shots, while Louisiana made 50 percent of its attempts.
The full 2019 Sun Belt Conference Championship tournament bracket will be released Saturday evening.