Can’t stop the Lady Red Wolves
Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2013 19:01
The Arkansas State Lady Red Wolves shot 55 percent from the floor and staved off a second-half rally to earn their first seven-game winning streak in six years as they buried the South Alabama Lady Jaguars 72-61 Wednesday night at the Convocation Center.
Sophomore guard Hanna Qedan led the Red Wolves with 16 points, while Ashley Olvera, Quinishia McDowell and Jalen O’Bannon all scored double figures as well.
ASU erupted at tipoff, quickly putting together a 17-2 run utilizing quick ball screens to provide easy looks.
The Red Wolves led by as many as 15 points in the first half, but the Jaguars exploited ASU’s defensive strength – three-point defense – to climb back into the game. Junior guard Meghan Dunn hit three three-points in the first half.
USA scored seven points in the last minute-and-a-half to narrow the deficit to eight, but O’Bannon hit a jumper with .33 remaining to put ASU up 38-28 to end the half.
“You couldn’t ask for a better start. Offensively, our tempo, our pace was really good to start the game,” ASU head coach Brian Boyer said. “Defensively, one of our big keys was being aggressive and chasing them off the three-point line. We did that early enough, and it allowed us to get out and get our offense going to get a big lead.”
The teams traded blows for the first ten minutes of the second half, and South Alabama cut the lead to eight, but a 10-0 ASU run in the middle minutes provided cushion against the Jaguars’ 8-0 run in the final two minutes.
USA dominated on the boards, collecting 35 rebounds, including 16 offensive ones, against the Red Wolves’ 24, a major factor in the Jaguars’ second-half rally, according to Qedan.
“We gave up a few critical offensive rebounds to them, and that’s really their game. That’s what they need to score,” Qedan said. “They need second and third shots, and we gave up a few of those, and once we kind of tried to take that away and run in transition we got in better shape.”
ASU will return to the court against North Texas Sunday afternoon. The Mean Green defeated Louisiana-Lafayette Wednesday night to keep the division-leading Red Wolves within two games.
“It’s another game that’s more important to us than it is to (our opponent) because it’s on our home court,” Boyer said. “As I keep saying, look at February. This win streak is great, but this win streak is a must for us, and we need to continue it because we’re going to spend a lot of time on the road in February.”
“(The winning streak) is good right now, it’s just that we can’t relax. We can’t get comfortable with everything because we still have plenty of season left. We still have a lot of tough games coming up,” Qedan said.
The Red Wolves look to extend their streak to eight at 2:05 p.m. on Sunday at the Convocation Center.