JONESBORO, Ark. (12/14/23) – Izzy Higginbottom dropped a career-high 35 points as the Arkansas State women’s basketball team rallied in the second half to down North Alabama 82-78 in overtime Thursday inside First National Bank Arena.
Higginbottom’s total is the most by a Sun Belt Conference player this season and the most by an A-State player since Adrianne Davie scored 38 against ULM on Feb. 17, 2007. The junior knocked down 9-of-16 from the field and 5-for-6 from 3-point range while going 12-for-14 at the free-throw line.
A-State (5-3) outscored UNA (3-7) 13-4 in the final 6:26 to force OT, with Lauryn Pendleton scoring the final four points in regulation. Pendleton celebrated her birthday by stuffing the stat sheet with a season-high 19 points to go along with eight rebounds, six assists and four steals. Anna Griffin scored eight points while Wynter Rogers corralled a game-high 10 boards.
The Red Wolves shot 44.6 percent (25-56) from the field and converted 25 of 36 (69.4 percent) from the charity stripe. UNA, meanwhile, was 27-of-66 from the floor (40.9 percent) and knocked down 10-of-38 from beyond the arc (26.3 percent). The teams were even on the glass at 37 boards each.
Higginbottom powered the A-State offense with 13 points in the first quarter, helping the Red Wolves lead 30-17 after the first 10. The Batesville, Ark., native sparked a 10-0 run with a trey at the 5:31 mark, and then Cheyenne Forney capped the stretch with a score to push A-State’s lead to 22-10. After UNA pulled within seven, the Scarlet and Black scored six straight to end the period with a 13-point advantage.
The Lions responded in the second quarter by outscoring A-State 17-9 and ending the half on a 9-0 run to make it a 39-34 margin at the break.
North Alabama continued that momentum into the second half, opening the third quarter on a 12-2 run to take a 46-43 lead. The Lions held the Red Wolves to without a field goal for over four minutes and expanded their lead out to nine, with Alyssa Clutter scoring with 46 seconds left to give the visitors a 61-52 lead through three.
Higginbottom and Pendleton combined for nine points to start the fourth quarter, pulling A-State to within five. Clutter scored with 4:10 remaining to make it 70-63, but that would be UNA’s final score in regulation, as a layup by Crislyn Rose sparked a 7-0 game-tying run to force the extra five minutes.
After the tip to open the additional period, Higginbottom drilled a trey to quickly put the Scarlet and Black ahead 73-70. With 3:46 to go, Pendleton scored on a layup to make it a two-score advantage. A trey by Allie Craig Cruce pulled the Lions to within two, but Pendleton and Higginbottom – who combined for all 12 of A-State’s points in overtime – continued to answer and clinched A-State’s second straight victory.
Alexis Callins paced North Alabama with 25 points, while Veronaye Charlton and Clutter scored 19 and 15, respectively.
Arkansas State continues its five-game home stand against longtime rival Little Rock on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off against the Trojans is slated for 2 p.m. on ESPN+. The radio broadcast can also be heard on 95.3/96.9 The Ticket Radio Network and the A-State Red Wolves mobile app.
Season tickets are available for purchase at AStateRedWolves.com/tickets or by calling (870) 972-ASU1.
For the latest on the A-State women’s basketball program, follow @AStateWB on Twitter/X and @astatewbb on Instagram, while also liking the team’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/RedWolvesWBB.
Higginbottom Drops 35 as Red Wolves Oust North Alabama in OT. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council