Lady Red Wolves cruise past Bison in exhibition match-up
Published: Friday, November 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, November 1, 2013 15:11
The Lady Red Wolves stepped onto the floor on Tuesday night and got their first taste of action since the season ended last March.
For the first time, they faced a team other than themselves in practice.
A team that won 15 games and returns three seniors stepped onto the court and delivered a thrilling 79-68 victory over Harding University in the exhibition opener.
The game, at times, did not have the feel of an exhibition game.
While intensity was certainly there on both sides, the first exhibition game jitters could clearly be felt by both teams.
It showed early as Harding University would come out aggressive, hitting seven of their first twelve shots, posting a 15-12 lead with 11:47 remaining in the first half.
After a media timeout, Arkansas State would respond, going on an 8-0 spurt over the next four minutes to grab a 20-15 lead.
After stretching the lead to 25-17, Harding would respond, going on a 10-3 run to pull within 28-27 with 3:45 to play in the first half.
A back and forth affair between the two teams would end the first half, with the Red Wolves up 35-34 at intermission.
A-State shot 10-25 (40.0 percent) in the first half, sinking three, three-point baskets to go along with 12 free throws. Harding, meanwhile, shot 14-26 (53.8 percent) from the floor, nailing five three-point baskets and hitting seven free throws.
“Defensively, we had a good stretch in the first half. We obviously just didn’t sustain that,” Head Coach Brian Boyer said.
“We’ve obviously got to do a better job at making those stretches longer and more frequent.”
The second half would continue with more of what the first half provided: intensity, good shooting and another good defensive sequence.
Both teams would come out strong, with the Red Wolves hitting four of their first five shots.
Harding would counter by hitting four of their first eight shots, leading to a 43 all tie at the first media timeout.
Much like the first half, the Lady Red Wolves would come out strong on the defensive end, holding Bison to just nine points over the next 4:21 of game time, which resulted in a 59-52 lead with 7:51 remaining.
Coming out of the timeout, the Red Wolves would push their lead to nine after a successful jumper by junior Hanna Qedan.
After the Bison miss four consecutive shots in a span of 13 seconds, the Red Wolves would push the ball down the floor and push their lead to double-digits after a jumper by freshman Brittney Gill to set the score at 63-52 with 6:50 remaining.
Harding would post one final run in the game, pulling within 66-60 with 3:25 to play. From there, the Red Wolves would put the Bison away with a combination of jumpers and late free throws. Arkansas State led 79-66 in the closing moments before two free throws by Harding’s Isaac-Boyce would set the final score.
“Offensively, we’re still a long way to go,” Boyer said. “Seventy-nine points can be deceptive. A lot of our points tonight came from either steals or players creating on their own. We’ve got a lot of work to do in order to get in sync offensively.”
“From a head coaching standpoint that was a good exhibition game to have and this will be real valuable for us,” he continued.
“We had to tighten up on defense, we were struggling,” senior Jane Morrill said. “Once we did that, we built on that with our offense, so that was the main point, tightening up on defense.”
As a whole, the Lady Red Wolves were paced well offensively. Playing in her first game in over a year, redshirt sophomore Aundrea Gamble paced the Red Wolves offense, scoring a game high 30 points, to go along with seven rebounds and six assists. Qedan would post eleven points and seven rebounds, helping the Red Wolves win the rebound battle by a total of 33-28.
Preseason First Team All Sun Belt Conference member Jane Morrill would post eight points to go along with three rebounds in just 25 minutes of action.
A-State returns to action as they conclude their exhibition season with a Nov. 4 match-up against Arkansas-Monticello at the Convocation Center. Tipoff is set for 7:05 p.m. The regular season tips on Nov. 11 against Missouri State, also at the Convocation Center.