|Courtesy : Arkansas State
Little Rock, Ark. (3/1/14) – Aundrea Gamble and Jane Morrillcombined to score 18 points in the second half, but it was not enough as the Arkansas State women’s basketball suffered a 64-55 setback against Arkansas-Little Rock Saturday night at the Jack Stephens Center.
Morrill finished with a team-high 16 points, while Gamble added 13 but the combination fell short as the Trojans had three players score in double-figures to split the season series with the Red Wolves.
The loss pushed A-State’s record to 18-10 overall and 12-4 in the Sun Belt Conference, while UALR improved to 15-11 overall and 10-6 in league play. Despite the loss, A-State maintains a lead in the Sun Belt Conference standings and can still clinch the outright Sun Belt Conference regular season title with a pair of victories in its final two games.
“Little Rock came out and hit us pretty hard in the first half on both ends of the floor and it just felt like we were in a battle all night,” A-State head coach Brian Boyer said. “We struggled offensively early on and we couldn’t to find any type of consistency on the offensive end and as a result it put us behind on the defensive end.”
A-State opened the second half on a 12-4 that brought the Red Wolves within 38-35 with 14:35 to go. Morrill scored eight points during the run, including back-to-back jumpers to start the second half that forced an early timeout by the UALR bench. A-State got within three points when Morrill scored underneath the basket for eighth point in the half’s first six minutes that brought that Arkansas State crowd in attendance to its feet.
The good fortune would be short lived, however, as UALR responded with a 9-2 run to push the lead back to 10 points at 47-37 with just over 10 minutes remaining. The Red Wolves once again fought their back into striking distance after Hanna Qedan drained a 3-pointer to pull within 59-53 with 1:18 to go, but A-State would get no closer.
Arkansas State struggled to get into a rhythm on either end of the court in the first half. After the first media timeout both teams had combined for nine turnovers and the Red Wolves struggled to knock down shots in the early part of the game.
Gamble was held in check and did not attempt her first shot until 4:25 to go in the half, while as a team Arkansas State shot just 34.8 percent from field, while the Trojans shot 55.6 percent. The biggest difference was in the paint, where UALR outscored the Red Wolves 18-8 in the first 20 minutes.
The Trojans built a substantial lead thanks to a 13-0 run that spread over six minutes. A-State did not make a field goal during the span; while the Trojans took a 26-10 lead with 6:46 to go in the first half. Qedan finally ended the scoring drought with a basket at the 6:33 and Brittney Gill followed with a 3-pointer to close the gap to 11 points, but the Red Wolves could get no closer as UALR took a 34-23 lead into the halftime break.
Shanity James led UALR with 19 points, while Taylor Ford added 15 and Di’Mond Jackson finished with 15.
Arkansas State will play return home March 5 for regular season contest against ULM at 7:05 p.m. For in-game updates follow @AStateGameDay on Twitter and stay up to date with A-State women’s basketball by following the team on Twitter (@AStateWB), Instagram (AStateWBB) and Facebook (Facebook.com/RedWolvesWBB).