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 squad will return to action Saturday, Jan. 31 at Georgia State. The game is set for a 11 a.m. tip-off and can be heard live on 95.3FM The Ticket/970AM KNEA or online at AStateRedWolves.com.