JONESBORO, Ark. (2/22/18) – Arkansas State tied a season high with five players scoring in double figures, and senior forward Lauren Bradshaw also collected her fifth double-double this year to help lead the Red Wolves to 69-52 Sun Belt Conference victory over Appalachian State Thursday night at First National Bank Arena.
The Red Wolves were coming off a 64-58 setback to Little Rock, but improved to 12-0 this year in games immediately following a loss. In the process, they moved their overall record 14-12 and ran their Sun Belt record to 9-6. Appalachian State now stands 7-20 overall and 5-11 in league action.
Bradshaw finished with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while guards Akasha Westbrook (17), Starr Taylor (11), Morgan Wallace (11) and Jada Ford (10) also scored in double figures. Appalachian State was paced by LaPresha Stanley with 20 points and Tierra Wilson added 11.
Although A-State was outrebounded 43-33, it posted a higher shooting percentage (.424 to .328), recorded six more assists (16 to 10), five more blocks (6 to 1) and four more steals (8 to 4). The Red Wolves also scored 21 points off 22 Appalachian State turnovers, while committing just 11 turnovers themselves.
How It Happened (First Half):
Arkansas State, which never trailed, jumped out to a 10-2 lead less than five minutes into the contest and built their advantage to as much as 13 points in the first period.
The Red Wolves took a 20-9 advantage into the second period and extended it to a game-high 19 (37-18) with 2:35 left before the break. The Mountaineers scored six of the period’s last eight points, but still trailed 39-24 at halftime.
Wallace, playing in just her second outing since returning from an injury that kept her out of eight straight games, scored all of her 11 points in the first half to lead A-State, which held the Mountaineers to no better than a .353 shooting percentage in each of the first two periods.
How It Happened (Second Half):
The Mountaineers were able to cut their deficit back to single digits just over midway through the third period, closing the gap to 47-38 at the 4:31 mark. They still trailed by nine with 2:09 left, but the Red Wolves scored the last four points of the third to go back up by 13, 53-40.
Appalachian State outscored A-State 8-2 over the fourth period’s initial 2:21 to pull within seven, 55-48, but couldn’t get any closer as A-State responded with a 7-0 run to go up 62-48 with 5:53 left in the contest.
Westbrook was the Red Wolves leading scorer in both the third and fourth periods, accounting for 14 of her 17 points in the second half.
Arkansas State’s five players scoring in double figures tied its most in a game this season. The Red Wolves also had five players reach double digits vs. UT Arlington on Jan. 13. The squad is now 12-3 this season when three or players post double-figure points.
The Red Wolves recorded 16 steals, which tied its third most this season and were just two shy of their season-high 18 posted at Georgia State on Jan. 6.
A-State finished with six blocks, tying its second most in a game this year for the fifth time. The Red Wolves had a season-best seven blocks against Tennessee State on Nov. 30.
Arkansas State improved to 7-1 this season when scoring at least 20 points (21) off its opponent’s turnovers.
The Red Wolves evened the season series with Appalachian State, 1-1, but took the lead in the all-time series between the two schools, 6-5. The win also snapped a three-game skid for the Red Wolves vs. the Mountaineers.
A-State improved to 12-0 in games this season following a loss.
The Red Wolves ran their record 9-1 this season when its bench outscores the opponent’s reserves by at least 10 points (15-5 tonight).
Senior forward Lauren Bradshaw recorded her fifth double-double this season and seventh of her career. Bradshaw finished with a game-high 11 rebounds, giving her four games this season and nine for her career with a double-digit total. With 10 points as well, she has now scored in double figures 10 times this season and 18 times during her career.
Junior guard Akasha Westbrook was responsible for a game-high 17 points and has now reached double digits in 22 of 26 outings this season.
Freshman guard Morgan Wallace scored 11 points, which were just two shy of her season-high 13 scored at Georgia State on Jan. 6. Despite missing eight games with an injury, she has still scored in double figures four times.
Sophomore guard Starr Taylor finished with 11 points while also posting three steals to tie her career high for the fifth time. Taylor reached double figures in the scoring column for the first time since recording a career-high 20 against UTA on Jan. 13.
Sophomore guard Jada Ford scored in double figures for the fifth consecutive game and seventh time over the last eight outings.
Quoting Coach Boyer:
“This was a really good win for us and I was really proud of the start to the game for us. If you look back Appalachian State has been a team that has been really good in the early part of games so I just really challenged our squad to get out there and get the upper hand early and we did.”
“App got more aggressive in the second half and you could fell the momentum shift at little bit, but fortunately we were able to get some stops and get enough scores to stay ahead of them. I thought when they made their run, I really Starr Taylor did a really good job of getting aggressive in the open court and even though what she did won’t show up in the box score I thought she did a really good job of getting the momentum back on our side.”
Arkansas State will play its final home game of the regular season Saturday, Feb. 24, at 3:00 p.m. versus Coastal Carolina.