Women's basketball team trumps Trojans
The Lady Red Wolves had a week to prepare for their matchup against UALR following their 67-64 victory over then league leader Western Kentucky.
The week of preparation more than paid off.
With a chance to go 6-1 in conference play for the first time since the 2006-07 season and a chance to snap a four game losing streak to the Trojans, the Lady Red Wolves jumped to an early 8-0 lead and didn’t look back in a 77-45 rout of UALR on Saturday afternoon at the Convocation Center.
The 8-0 start was indicative of how the afternoon would fare for both squads.
The Red Wolves would pound the rock inside during the course of the run, setting themselves up for a great afternoon on the offensive end.
The lead quickly ballooned to 34-8 as A-State went on a 22-2 run that spanned over 10 minutes in the first half of play.
With the Red Wolves leading 38-17, a missed three point field goal attempt by sophomore guard Aundrea Gamble turned into a high flying offensive rebound by sophomore guard Jessica Flanery. From there, Flanery dished to senior forward Jane Morril, who preceded to bank in the two point attempt at the buzzer. The series was an excellent reflection of how the half went for both teams.
The first half ended with a score of 40-17, and it didn’t get any easier for the Trojans in the second half.
The Trojans (9-9, 4-4 SBC) were stymied offensively, thanks in large part to their star post player, junior guard Taylor Gault, going a horrific 2-16 from the field.
Gault finished with only four points on the afternoon. The Trojans were led in scoring by sophomore forward Shanity James, who scored 10 points in the loss, though six of them came from the charity stripe.
Thanks to the Red Wolves stingy defense, the Trojans suffered through a horrific shooting performance, finishing the game shooting only 33.3% (20-60) from the field.
The Trojans also went 0-7 from three-point land.
The Lady Red Wolves enjoyed a much more pleasant afternoon on the offensive end.
The Red Wolves finished the game shooting 57.7 percent (30-52) from the field. This included going 16-31 (51.6 percent) from the field in the first half.
The second half saw the Red Wolves shoot 14-21 (66.7 percent) from the floor due to strong post play by the ladies.
In terms of scoring, A-State was led once again by Gamble, who finished with 27 points on the afternoon.
Morrill finished the day with 10 points on the afternoon, while sophomore forward Jalen O’Bannon chipped in with eight, despite struggling at the charity stripe, shooting a 2-7 from the line.
The Lady Red Wolves outrebounded the Trojans 39-36.
“I wouldn’t say it was easy by any means, we’re just really proud of the way we started today,” Morrill said. “We were able to finish what we started.”
Though Morrill said the game wasn’t easy offensively, the numbers indicate the Red Wolves (12-7, 6-1 SBC) enjoyed quite an easy day on the offensive end.
Head coach Brian Boyer was more than pleased with the effort the ladies during the game.
“I was pleased start to finish tonight with my team,” A-State head coach Brian Boyer said. “I thought defensively we established some things and I was really pleased with Jamie Ruffins right from the start and I thought she was really disruptive on the ball.
Aundrea Gamble was obviously Aundrea Gamble but yet very selective in what she did, and I thought the combination of establishing the inside game early allowed us to do some other things.”
Boyer added he thought the rebounding was as good as it has been from one of his teams in a very long time. “I thought we were very active on the boards and in the first half I thought we did a very good job of being active and finishing strong,” he said.
The Lady Red Wolves will now face a tall task in attempting to keep their lead in the Sun Belt Conference standings. Five of the next six games are on the road, starting with a matchup against Louisiana-Monroe on Jan. 29. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The only home game in the six game stretch will come Feb. 5 when the ladies take on Western Kentucky.
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