RUSTON – Freshman JaQuan Jackson came off the bench to score a career-high 23 points and Whitney Frazier added 15 points but Arkansas State shot 53 percent from the field and dominated the boards en route to a 91-68 win over the Lady Techsters Monday night at the Thomas Assembly Center.
The Red Wolves (4-1) received a career-high 26 points from Hanna Qedan and 23 points from Aundrea Gamble. A-State used an early 13-0 run to open up an 18-point lead midway through the first half and coast to the victory.
“This was unacceptable,” said Tech head coach Teresa Weatherspoon. “I give credit to (Arkansas State). They came out here with great energy and took us out of everything we wanted to do. They are a very good team, but we have no excuses. We didn’t execute in any phase of the game.”
After respectable losses to Virginia and 15th ranked LSU in its last two outings, LA Tech (0-4) had its eyes set on picking up the first win of the season. Arkansas State had other plans.
Behind the red-hot shooting for Qedan who scored 13 of her 19 first half points in the opening seven minutes, Arkansas State quickly grasped the momentum and the lead. Qedan hit back-to-back three-pointers – two of her four on the night – and scored eight straight as the Red Wolves grabbed a 23-5 lead with 11:37 to play in the first half.
Jackson, who recorded her third double digit scoring game of the year, came off the Tech bench and scored 11 points but Tech entered the halftime locker room trailing 42-21.
“I thought Quanny gave us a spark and really played well,” Weatherspoon said. “She was able to score for us, and she didn’t back down. We need everyone on the same page. Right now, we don’t have that.”
Arkansas State’s 21-point halftime lead was due to a 23-11 rebounding advantage, including 13 offensive boards by the Red Wolves, and to a 15-4 edge in points off of turnovers. Tech committed 14 first half turnovers and 21 for the game.
The second half was more of an even draw as A-State outscored Tech 49-47. Although the Lady Techsters were able to find more offense – Tech hit 20-of-24 free throws in the final 20 minutes – the LA Tech defense was unable to contain Arkansas State, which hit 60 percent (18-of-30) of its field goals in the final stanza.
Nineteen points was as close as Tech would get in the second half while Arkansas State’s biggest lead came at 91-63. Brittney Jefferson’s three and Jackson’s driving layup were the final points of the game as Tech fell for only the third time in the series history to the Red Wolves.
In addition to Jackson and Frazier’s totals, Chrisstasia Walter added 13 points.
For the game, Tech shot 40 percent (21-53) from the field, only 4-of-18 from the three-point line and 22-of-28 from the free throw line. Arkansas State shot 53 percent (34-64) from the field, 7-of-12 from the three-point line and 16-of-23 from the free throw line.
The Red Wolves outrebounded Tech 43-27.
Tech returns to action Friday when it hosts New Orleans at 6:30 p.m.