Peyton Martin’s 20 point performance combined with stellar three-point shooting by Arkansas State saw the Red Wolves take down the Appalachian State Mountaineers 76-58 to mark A-State’s fourth consecutive Sun Belt Conference win.
With the win the Red Wolves improved to 4-1 in the SBC and 7-9 overall. Four Red Wolves scored in double digits on the night including Martin, Jada Ford, Morgan Wallace and Payton Tennison. Ford registered 16 points while Tennison scored 14. Wallace recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds as the junior was the only Red Wolf with double-digit rebounds.
Appalachian State only managed a 39.3 shooting percentage and Nicola Mathews was the only Mountaineer in double-digit points with 18.
A-State shot 58% from beyond-the-arc and started on fire in the first half from the 3-point line. The Red Wolves went 11-19 on 3-pointers and Ford accounted for four of those baskets. Tennison went a perfect 4-4 from long range. Overall, the team shot 53.7% from the field.
“We shot the ball out of our gourd,” head coach Matt Daniel said. “We may have shot better tonight than we have all year combined.”
In the post game press conference Daniel said although the Red Wolves dominated, he was not in the greatest mood. The first-year A-State head coach alluded to something he had to address earlier in the day and spoke about building a better culture and decisions made by his players. Though his disappointment in his team was very evident, Daniel did not describe in clear detail what had him frustrated.
The Red Wolves travel to Little Rock Saturday and take on a Trojan team who hold an extra day of rest over A-State. As always, this will be a big rivalry game with an intense atmosphere.
“It will be a great introduction to my first game in that series,” Daniel said. “It’s the perfect storm. (Joe Foley) is gonna have them ready to go and riled up. He’s been at it a long time and he does a great job. He’s very successful every year. We’re going to get on the bus tomorrow and we’re going to watch film, we’re going to practice, shoot balls in their gym and we’re going to get up on Saturday and we’re going to play. Or, it’s going to tip off, I hope we play. But that’s every night. We don’t approach it any different. We approached Baylor the same way we approached this game.”
Wallace is a Little Rock native and mentioned the importance of the matchup.
“For me specifically, it’s a big game,” Wallace said. “It’s my hometown. I just want to play in front of my family and friends because I don’t get to do that very often.”
A-State closed out the victory comfortably in the fourth quarter and the Red Wolves never really had their lead troubled the whole game.
Martin started a run with 3:58 left to play before Maggie Mahan converted on a quick jumper to put the Red Wolves ahead 76-58 with 1:52 remaining in the game.
Mahan’s jumper marked the last points in the game as the Red Wolves cruised to a win at home.
The Red Wolves started the third quarter showing off their slick passing ability after Jireh Washington found Tennison on a cross court pass. Tennison then smartly played Martin under the basket as the junior finished a nice layup while getting fouled. Martin completed the 3-point play to put A-State ahead 57-32.
Although the Red Wolves dominated most of the game the end of the third quarter did mark a sloppy spot for A-State. Daniel recognized his team was fading and called a timeout with 3:22 left to play. However, the Red Wolves failed to execute on offense out of the break and then the Mountaineers hit a 3-pointer.
Despite an 8-0 run towards the end of the quarter, the Red Wolves still went into the fourth period with a 64-48 lead.
The Red Wolves absolutely dominated the first half and A-State went into the locker rooms ahead 48-29.
A-State shot 69% from beyond-the-arc in the first half and Ford accounted for four of those baskets. The senior scored 16 points through the first two quarters while Tennison also accounted for double digits with 11 points in the first half.
With 1:41 left to play, quick passing from the home team proved too much for the Mountaineers as Ford drained a three to increase the Red Wolves’ lead 46-24. Her dagger forced App State’s Angel Elderkin into a timeout.
A-State dominated the first quarter and jumped out to a 28-15 lead over the Mountaineers.
Ford hit back-to-back 3-point shots to put the Red Wolves ahead 17-11 as Ford became 5th all-time in career made 3-point field goals for A-State.
The senior guard accounts for 163 3-pointers in her career at A-State and trails Sonja Tate in fourth. Tate made 183 in her time as a Red Wolf.
Tennison tacked on a 3-point shot of herself following a media timeout to increase A-State’s lead 20-11.
The Red Wolves had the hot hand from beyond-the-arc in the first quarter going 6-9 on three point attempts.
A-State travels to in-state foe Little Rock Saturday to take on the Trojans. Tip off is set for 2 p.m. from the Jack Stephens Center.
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