Red Wolves Break Trojans’ Streak in a Thriller


UALR Men’s Team Takes the Win

JONESBORO, Ark. – The Arkansas State women’s basketball team collected a 70-69 victory over UALR Thursday night at the Convocation Center, snapping the Trojans 10-game winning streak while also handing them their first Sun Belt Conference setback this season.

Jasmine Hunt put the Red Wolves ahead with a pair of free throws with five seconds left in the game and Taylor’s Gault’s running jumper as time expries fell short to give the Red Wolves its second straight victory over the Trojans in Jonesboro.

The Red Wolves improved to 14-7 overall and 9-2 in league play, leaving them just a half-game behind UALR atop the Sun Belt standings.  The Trojans fell for just the third time in 19 games this season and now hold a 9-1 conference mark.

“This is a great win for us because of how good Little Rock is,” A-State head coach Brian Boyer said. “We’ve played some of the best this year in a top-20 Mississippi State, a Chattanooga team that is in the top-25 and Florida Gulf Coast team that should be in the top-25 and UALR is as good as or better than all of them and that gives you an idea of how big this win is.”

Arkansas Sate led 59-50 with 8:09 to go in the game, but the Trojans slowly chipped away at lead thanks to 3-pointers on three straight possessions by Gault. UALR went up 69-68 on Gault’s fourth trey of the half with 52 seconds remaining. A-State turned the ball over on the ensuing possession, but got another chance when Kaitlyn Pratt was called for an foul with five seconds left in the game. Hunt drained both free throws to secure the win.

Aundrea Gamble scored 15 of her game-high 19 points in the second half and helped the Red Wolves take the lead back twice after UALR had gone up by one point on the previous possession. The Trojans never led by more than two points throughout the night, while A-State led for 31:42 during the night.

Hanna Qedan had a big night and tied her own Convocation Center record with a perfect 3-for-3 night from behind the arc. She tied the arena record earlier this season with a perfect 3-for-3 night against Christian Brothers on Nov. 28.

As a team, the Red Wolves were a perfect 6-for-6 from behind the 3-point line, which tied a Convocation Center record for highest 3-point field goal percentage and was the most makes without a miss in arena history.

One of those 3-pointers came was provided by Gamble early in the second half after the Trojans had just taken a 36-35 lead, but the redshirt junior drained a trey from the right wing to put the Red Wolves back on top. Qedan’s 3-pointers were also timely and helped the Red Wolves stretch their lead to eight points in the second half. The senior finished with 15 points and five rebounds.

“I thought we took good shots and smart shots and never really had a time where we took a desperation type shot,” Boyer said. “It was really different players at different times stepping up. Jasmine Hunt had a really good night, Brittney Gill hit some shots and Hanna hit some big 3-pointers and all of that with everything else helped when UALR went on their runs and allowed to not let them go too far out in front.”

Brittney Gill finished in double-digits for the second straight game with 10 points and helped limit UALR’s guards throughout the night with a strong defensive effort. Jasmine Hunt narrowly missed finishing in double-figures with nine points, while Amanda Lawson turned in eight points with another solid performance from the field.

As a team, A-State shot a season-high 56.3 percent from the field and held the Trojans to just 40.6 percent on the night. UALR outrebounded A-State 33-28, but the Red Wolves got 21 points from their bench compared to just six for the Trojans.

The victory pulled A-State within a half-game of league-leading UALR in the Sun Belt standings, and gave the Red Wolves a 1.5 game lead over third place Troy and Texas State.

The Red Wolves will return to action Saturday, Jan. 31 at Georgia State. The Trojans face Georgia Southern.

UALR Men’s Team Turns Red Wolves Over

JONESBORO, Ark. – A stifling defense that helped turn 19 Arkansas State turnovers into 24 UALR points helped the Trojans to a 75-65 win on Thursday at the Convocation Center. The win was UALR’s first in Jonesboro since Jan. 2012.

“It was a great win for our guys,” head coach Steve Shields said after the game. “I thought the last four minutes of the first half were very important to the outcome of the game. You have to give Arkansas State a lot of credit. They’re a tough, well-coached team. It’s a testament to the character of the guys in our locker room that, after a number of losses in close games this season, these guys could continue to practice and play hard and pull out a tough win tonight.”

After Arkansas State (9-11, 4-7 SBC) got out to a hot-shooting start and build a 13-point advantage, UALR (8-12, 3-7 SBC) switched to a trapping defense that extended near half court that helped it pull within one at halftime before taking its first lead near the 16:00 mark of the second half.

Leading by 10 with two minutes to play, the Trojans hit 7 of 8 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

UALR took its first lead on a steal and finish by Josh Hagins to make it 41-40 with a little over 16 minutes to go. The 6-1 guard connected on an open 3 on UALR’s next possession to put the Trojans up four.

With the game tied at 50, a 12-0 run by UALR that included 3-pointers by James Reid and Hagins helped UALR build a 62-50 with 7:29 left in regulation. ASU would get no closer than seven the rest of the way.

Hagins finished the night with a career-high 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the floor and 6-of-7 from the foul line. Roger Woods posted his third double-double of the month, finishing with 13 points and 11 rebounds in 31 minutes.

Thanks to a 5-of-8 start from the floor that included three 3-pointers, Arkansas State was able to build an 11-point advantage by the time of the first media timeout. The Red Wolves lead was still at 11 when Daijon Macklin scored to make it 30-19 with a little under eight minutes to play in the half.

As Arkansas State’s hot start cooled, UALR began to chip away at the lead. A five-point spurt capped by a Hagins layup made it 33-28 with 4:48 to go in the half. Woods’ second trey of the game pulled UALR within three, its closest margin since the early minutes, at 36-33 with two minutes remaining in the half. A fading jumper by Hagins with 11 seconds served as the final bucket for either team and cut ASU’s lead to one, 38-37, at intermission.

UALR returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Statesboro, Ga., to take on Georgia Southern. A-State faces Georgia State.

red wolves break trojans streak


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