LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (2/2/19) – Jireh Washington and Akasha Westbrook each scored in double-figures but it was not enough as the Arkansas State women’s basketball team fell to Little Rock 68-55 Saturday afternoon at the Jack Stephens Center.
The Trojans led by 19 early in the fourth quarter, but the Red Wolves (8-12, 3-6) worked to whittle the lead down to single digits with just over five minutes to go in the game. The rally was led by Washington, who scored 10 points in the final frame, including two free throws to cap an 8-0 run that cut the lead down to 58-49.
Washington got a layup with two minutes to go in the game, the cut the deficit to 60-53, but Little Rock’s Kyra Collier connected on two free throws to push the advantage back to nine. A Red Wolves’ turnover led to, two more free throws by the Trojans (12-8, 8-1) with 1:19 to go the lead back to double-digits and A-State unable to recover.
“You can’t question how hard we competed today,” A-State head coach Brian Boyer said. “The effort was there and the energy was a lot better than what we have had in the last couple of weeks so that is a positive we can take from it. We just had too many situations where we went to long without scoring and even when we made the run late to get it to single digits, we went several possessions after that without scoring and that’s just something you can’t do because of how good they are.”
Washington finished with a team-high 14 points to lead Arkansas State, while Westbrook added 10 points and five rebounds. Peyton Martin grabbed six boards to lead the way on the glass, while Washington dished out a team-high four assists.
Both teams shot the ball well in the opening the quarter with Little Rock taking a 20-15 advantage, but Arkansas State struggled in the second quarter as the Trojans outscored the squad 13-5 and grabbed five offensive rebounds in the 10-minute span.
“Little Rock is so good defensively that you can’t go long stretches without scoring and we did that in the second and third quarter,” Boyer said. “We competed really hard, but when you aren’t scoring eventually you are going to feel it on the defensive end and I think that is what happened to us.”
Arkansas State returns to the court when it will take on South Alabama, Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. at First National Bank Arena.