The Arkansas State women’s basketball team beat in-state rival Little Rock 62-58 in the First National Bank Arena on Saturday. This improved the Red Wolves Sun Belt Conference record to 5-9 on the season and their overall record to 10-15.
Three Red Wolves scored in double figures and Peyton Martin led the Red Wolves with 18 points. Akasha Westbrook and Jireh Washington also contributed 16 points each. The Red Wolves did not make a single 3-point basket but did not need it as they shot 43.4 percent from the field. A-State out rebounded the Trojans 41-36 and a strong defensive showing held Little Rock to a 33.3 shooting percentage from the field.
Little Rock took a 55-52 lead in the fourth quarter before the Red Wolves roared back. The Trojans tied the game 58-58 with 58 seconds left in the game. Westbrook made two clutch free throws as the FNBA rose to its feet with the home team up 60-58. A vital defensive stop on the opposite end of the court led to Washington closing out the game with two free throws and a final score of 62-58.
A-State exploded out of the half time break. The Red Wolves extended their lead to 43-29 after physical shots from Peyton Martin and Morgan Wallace layups. Despite this start, Little Rock battle back and closed out the quarter on a 13-0 run to bring the game within one at 43-42. A-State had open looks but could not get a shot to fall and the home team remained 0-6 from behind the arc.
The Red Wolves surprised the first place Trojans with a physical first half. Akasha Westbrook led A-State with 10 points in the first half while Jireh Washington chipped in nine. The Red Wolves did not make a single 3-point basket during the first half but it did not matter as they shot 44.8 percent from the field compared to the Trojans’ 33.3 percent.
Arkansas State came alive in the second quarter despite a slow start to the period by both teams. The Red Wolves and Trojans battled back and forth before a nice passing move by the home team gave Madison Heckert a wide open lay up. This made the game 27-25 in A-State’s favor. Akasha Westbrook capped off her stellar second quarter with a jump shot that sent the Red Wolves into the break with a 31-27 lead.
The Red Wolves looked like the better team at the start of the first quarter. Jireh Washington was lively as she scored the first four points for A-State on the afternoon. The home team extended their lead to 9-5 before Little Rock battled back. Yanina Inkina led the Trojans’ comeback scoring nine points in the first quarter and Little Rock’s strong defense forced A-State into a timeout down 18-13.
A-State returns to action on Feb. 28. The Red Wolves host Georgia State and tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
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