CONWAY, S.C. (2/2/23) – One of the old adages of basketball is the notion that defense travels.
That was true Thursday night, as the Arkansas State women’s basketball team had a nice night defensively, forcing 26 turnovers in a 69-65 road triumph against Coastal Carolina inside the HTC Center.
A-State (7-15, 2-9 SBC) scored 23 points off of those 26 takeaways while limiting a Chanticleers (10-12, 5-6) offense that entered shooting 32.9 percent from 3-point range to just 20 percent from beyond the arc.
Izzy Higginbottom led all players with 24 points on 7-of-19 shooting while going 7-for-8 at the free-throw line to spearhead the Red Wolves’ 16-of-18 effort at the charity stripe. The Batesville, Ark., native impacted in more than just scoring, grabbing a career-high six assists to go along with four rebounds and three assists.
Anna Griffin added 11 points while Lauryn Pendleton notched eight points and a team-high nine boards. Mailyn Wilkerson hit a pair of treys as part of an eight-point effort off the bench. As a team, A-State converted 7-of-16 from 3-point range (43.8 percent) and lost just 12 turnovers.
Aja Blount recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead three Chanticleers with 10 or more points. Deaja Richardson scored 16 points with seven boards while Miriam Recarte added 10 points off the bench. Helena Delaruelle also grabbed 10 off the glass as the hosts grabbed 53 rebounds.
Coastal Carolina surged out to a nine-point lead with a 10-0 run late in the first quarter, shooting over 52 percent from the floor en route to a 22-12 lead after one. However, A-State returned the favor in the second quarter, forcing six turnovers and Higginbottom scoring 13 points to outscore the Chanticleers by 10. With one second to go in the half, Keya Patton found Griffin on a perfectly-placed inbounds pass for the buzzer-beating score, leveling the count at 36-all at intermission.
Neither side led by more than three in a back-and-forth third quarter. Leilani Augmon halted a 6-0 CCU run with two of her eight points with 29 seconds left to pull A-State within one, trailing 53-52 with one quarter remaining.
Pendleton connected on a jumper to start a fourth quarter that saw a trio of ties. Griffin drained a trey with 4:10 to go, giving the Red Wolves a 60-57 edge before the Chanticleers tied it up at the 2:21 mark on a free throw by Blount. The Red Wolves’ largest lead came after Melodie Kapinga’s second-chance putback found the hoop with 44 seconds left.
The Chanticleers cut the margin to one twice in the final minute, but A-State made its late trips to the foul line count, converting 3-of-4 inside the last 10 seconds to complete the win.
A-State returns home Saturday, hosting Old Dominion (15-9, 7-4) in the second half of a men’s-women’s basketball doubleheader. Tip-off for the first-ever meeting against the Monarchs inside First National Bank Arena is set for 4:30 p.m. CT on ESPN+. The radio broadcast can be heard live via the EAB Red Wolves Sports Network station 95.3 and 96.9 The Ticket Radio Network.
For the latest on the A-State women’s basketball program, follow @AStateWB on Twitter and @astatewbb on Instagram, while also liking the team’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/RedWolvesWBB.
Higginbottom Shines as A-State Swipes Road Win. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council