Jeff Reed: By Any Name Red Wolves Women’s Basketball on Brink of History

 

Red Wolves Women's Basketball on Brink of History

Jeff Reed Author PageDoing a little research last week, it was discovered that the Arkansas State Red Wolves women’s basketball team has not won a conference championship since the program moved to the NCAA in 1982-83.

That could change in a matter of days.

So somewhere between the transition from Tomahawks (aka Tommies) to Lady Indians to Lady Red Wolves to Red Wolves a championship has escaped a program that for the most part has been pretty successfully.

Frankly, we were a bit surprised there was no title. For a program that not that long ago was considered the best women’s basketball team the state, there have been no rings to show for that success.

Coach Brian Boyer’s team now sits atop the Sun Belt standings with an 11-3 record, one game ahead of Texas State (in the loss column) and at least two games ahead of the rest of the pack. At 17-9, the Red Wolves look like a team that will win more than 20 games and be a strong candidate for post-season play.

They moved a step closer to history with a 73-47 thumping of Texas-Arlington in Jonesboro Wednesday night. Not only did the team move closer to history, but Boyer did as well. He is now just one game short of the career record for Sun Belt Conference victories.

There was a little toe stub Saturday night in Lafayette, La., where  A-State lost to the Ragin Cajuns for the first time in 16 tries.

And that slip briefly allowed Texas State, which comes into Jonesboro Saturday afternoon, to move into a tie (in the loss column) with the Red Wolves atop the Sun Belt standings. But the Bobcats lost to Georgia State this week and that gave A-State back its cushion and primed for a run for the big trophy with mostly home games left.

The game at ULL ended a six-game stretch where the Red Wolves played five on the road. Before the season it was a part of the schedule that had Boyer concerned. He felt there was an opportunity to get off to a good start but the road trips in the middle of the schedule had him concerned. The team came out of it with at 3-2 and did not lose it grip on the league-lead.

Now at the back stretch, the Red Wolves have four of their last five at home. That started with UTA last night. Next up is a big meeting with Texas State, where a victory can put the Red Wolves at least two games up on the entire field with three left to play.

The lone road trip is to UALR on March 1 and that is followed by home games against the Louisiana twins – Monroe and Lafayette. (And I know calling Lafayette that will irritate them.)

The last time the Red Wolves won anything was in 2004 when they tied for a division championship. But if they get there this year, it might not take long before they cut down the nets again. Only about 25 percent of the offense is provided by seniors. The team’s best player, Aundrea Gamble, is a sophomore and is still dusting off the rust of sitting out last season. Another potential impact player next year is junior Amanda Lawson, who is sitting out this season.

Perhaps the wait will soon be over.

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Jeff Reed is editor of astatenation.com

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  • A-State Fan Rules

    Coach Boyer is doing a terrific job this season. These women deserve more support!