A-State Women Beat UTEP

JONESBORO, Ar – Jada Ford and Akasha Westbrook combined to score 27 of Arkansas State’s 40 points in the second half as the Red Wolves defeated the University of Texas-El Paso 76-73 Tuesday evening at First National Bank Arena.

Ford led the way with a game-high 23 points, while Westbrook finished with 17 as the Red Wolves (4-4) remained undefeated at home on the season. Ford went 8-of-17 from the field including five, 3-pointers, while Westbrook was 6-of-8 from the field and 4-of-7 from the foul line.

For the night, Arkansas State shot 49.2 percent (49-of-59) from the field, while holding the Miners (5-2) to just 42.9 percent (27-of-63). The Red Wolves also made 8, 3-pointers and forced UTEP into 19 turnovers that turned into 17 points on the offensive end for A-State. UTEP won the battle on the boards 43-27.

The Miners were led by Tamara Seda 19 points and 16 rebounds.

How It Happened (First Half):

UTEP built and 11-point lead midway through the second quarter thanks to a hot hand from the field, knocking down 56 percent (18-of-32) of its shots. A 3-pointer from Roeshonda Patterson gave the Miners a 35-24 lead with 4:34 to go in the first half.

The Red Wolves rallied and closed the gap to the 37-36 with 1:05 to go after a 3-pointer from Westbrook and a layup by Payton Tennison, but UTEP closed the half on a 7-0 run to take a 44-36 advantage at the break.

Starr Taylor led the Red Wolves with eight points on 4-of-4 shooting, while Peyton Martin grabbed four rebounds to pace the squad.

The Red Wolves shot 15-of-36 (41.7 percent) from the field in the opening half, but were just 3-of-15 from beyond the arc.

How It Happed (Second Half):

UTEP pushed its lead to nine pints at 46-37 with 8:06 to go in the third quarter before the Red Wolves began to chip away at the deficit. Lauren Bradshaw converted a put back opportunity midway through the period to get within two, but the Miner quickly pushed their advantage back to six at 52-46 after a pair of turnovers.

Tennison hit a 3-pointer from the corner cut the lead down to three and Westbrook followed with a strong layup in the paint to get within 52-51.

Ford gave the Red Wolves their first lead of the night at 54-53, but UTEP quickly answered with a bucket on the opposite in transition to retake the lead. Ford answered again with her third, trey of the quarter to give A-State a 57-55 lead and Westbrook converted three free throws at the end of the period to go up 60-55.

Westbrook and Ford continued to find ways to score in the fourth as the pair combined to score 19 straight points to help the lead grow 68-59 with 6:48 to go in the game.

UTEP struggled to find any type of rhythm offensively in the second half and went just 9-of-31 from the field over the game’s final 20 minutes.  Despite the struggles, the Miners kept the game in reach thanks to a strong night 16-of-20 night at the free throw line.

The Red Wolves led by nine with 3:55 remaining, but UTEP whittled the lead down to 74-70 with 51 seconds left after a jumper by Najala Howell. The Miners opted to foul and put Lycia Peevy at the line who went 2-of-4 down the stretch to help seal the game.

Notables:

·         A-State remained undefeated at First National Bank Arena this season (3-0) and have now four out of their last five contests at home dating back to the 2016-17 season.

·         Jada Ford led the Red Wolves in scoring for the fourth time this season, all of which have resulted in the Red Wolves’ victories.

·         Jada Ford’s 23 points tied a season-high for the sophomore.

·         A-State’s 49.2 percent mark from the field was its second highest mark of the season.

·         The eight made 3-point attempts are tied for the most in a single game this season.

·         The Red Wolves 13 assists are the second most in a game this season.

·         In the previous two meetings with UTEP, the Miners scored 74 points in a victory, but A-State held them to just 73 points in a loss tonight.

Quoting Coach Brian Boyer:

“The push at the end of the second quarter was crucial for us just to get us back in the game and then the third quarter was just great. We got everybody involved and Jada hit some shots that really sparked us. UTEP as a team was shooting well over 40 percent from the field and in the third quarter we held them to just 29 percent so our defense got better which made our offense better and then we were able to cushion the lead just enough”

“Tonight was by far and away our best night offensively from a movement standpoint. Possession after possession we would get the ball from sideline to sideline and I was disappointed in the first half because I thought we had great movement, but we were just shooting the ‘3’ to many times.

Up Next:

A-State continues its three game home-stand with a matchup against Belmont, Thursday Dec. 14 in an “Elementary School Day” game. Tip-off is set for 11:30 a.m. at First National Bank Arena.


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