Second SBC loss for Lady Trojans
The Lady Trojan basketball team lost their second conference game to the Arkansas State Lady Red Wolves 54-51 Saturday, Feb. 26, in front of 2,153 fans in Jonesboro. The Trojans have already clinched the West division and a first-round bye in the Sun Belt Conference tournament, but their chances of receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament are slim. The Trojans would have to win the tournament in Hot Springs March 5-8 to make the big dance.
“I thought both teams played very hard,” UALR coach Joe Foley said. “Defensive-wise, both teams really got after [the ball]. Neither one of us shot the ball very good, so it was more or less a defensive game. It wasn’t very pretty.”
The Trojans (19-7, 13-2 SBC) held their biggest lead (22-16) of the game after senior Chastity Reed hit a 15-foot jump shot with 10:22 remaining. Reed had 14 points in the first half on 6-11 shooting and it looked as if she was going to continue her success of the previous game against South Alabama when she scored 40 points.
UALR led 34-32 at halftime, but the second half was a different story for Reed. She scored six points on 3-15 from the field, forcing several shots. Arkansas State (16-13, 9-7 SBC) opened the second half with a 12-2 run capped by a Breaunna Ellison layup to take an eight-point lead with 10:40 left in the game.
Senior Trojan guard Asriel Rolfe hit a 3-pointer with 3:49 remaining to end a 6-0 run and UALR took a 51-50 lead. The Red Wolves hit 4-6 free throws the rest of the game for the final margin.
“This is a significant win because you beat, if not the [best team], one of the best teams in this league,” ASU coach Brian Boyer said
The Red Wolves out-rebounded the Trojans 45-34 and outscored UALR 32-12 for points in the paint.
“That was the name of the game right there,” Foley said about the rebounding disparity. “They just did a great job on the boards. That was the difference in the ball game. Our post players just took the night off. Post defense is the heart of your defense. If you can’t keep it out of the post, you’re not going to win basketball games.”
Reed led the Trojans with 20 points and 11 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the year and second consecutive. Rolfe had 11 points and five assists. Senior forward Shay Scott and junior guard NeNe Hurst both scored 11 points and each had 11 rebounds recording double-doubles for ASU. Junior forward Jane Morrill led the Red Wolves with 13 points in 17 minutes on 5-7 shooting.