A-State women fall to reigning national champs

WACO, Texas – A tall task stood ahead of the Arkansas State women’s basketball team on Wednesday in the form of the reigning national champions, but No. 7/5 Baylor saw a historic performance lift the Lady Bears to an 111-43 victory over the Red Wolves at the Ferrell Center.

Jireh Washington led A-State (3-7) with 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting and six rebounds. Juicy Landrum made an NCAA-record 14 three-pointers to lead the Lady Bears (9-1) with 42 points on the day.

“I feel like we played better offensively today,” head coach Matt Daniel said. “Defensively, we were a little bit overwhelmed but this environment can overwhelm you sometimes. We’ve talked about who we want to be as a team and we feel like we can be competitive. I eventually want to get us to the point where we come here to win this game. I thought we played better in the second half, especially offensively in the third quarter. We settled down and got it inside, where we wanted to go with it. We wanted to do that in the first half, and didn’t. We just have to continue to build and get ready for Louisiana Tech and Sun Belt play.”

A-State shot 28.8 percent from the floor (15-of-52) while seeing improvement at the free-throw line, shooting 68.8 percent (11-of-16). Peyton Martin scored in double digits for the first time since Dec. 9, tallying 11 points while going 5-of-6 at the line.

The Red Wolves only earned two trips to the charity stripe in the first half, but by working the ball inside, managed to earn 14 free-throw opportunities in the final 20 minutes. The Scarlet and Black also made good on several of their second chances, scoring 12 points on 11 offensive rebounds.

In addition to Landrum’s output, three other players scored in double figures for the Lady Bears, who shot 59.2 percent from the field as a team on 42-of-71 shooting. Landrum made 14 of Baylor’s 15 treys and BU also shot 75 percent from the free-throw line (12-of-16). Nalyssa Smith earned 15 points and seven boards on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting while Queen Egbo posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Erin DeGrate rounded out the double-digit scorers for Baylor with 11 off the bench.

Baylor opened the day on a 12-0 run before the Red Wolves got on the board with a putback off the glass by Morgan Wallace, who had five points on the day. Jada Ford cut it to a nine-point contest with a three about midway through the first to make it 16-7.

The Lady Bears would then go on a 6-0 run to lead 22-7, when Washington converted a three-point play to make it 22-10. A Payton Tennison three with 2:24 left in the quarter cut it to a 24-13 score, but Baylor closed on a 6-2 run to lead 30-15 after the first quarter. During that run, Martin knocked in an inside bucket.

Washington opened the second quarter with a strong pull-up jumper just before Baylor went on an 11-0 run to force an A-State timeout. Just after the timeout, Washington drove it to the rim and drew a foul, but was unable to convert the and-one. The Lady Bears then closed on a 17-0 run to end the half with a 58-19 lead.

Wallace posted A-State’s first score of the second half before Landrum continued what she started in the second half to make it 63-21. Washington then converted another three-point play after a Starr Taylor score to give A-State a 5-0 run. Baylor responded with its own 5-0 run on another trey by Landrum and a transition layup by Cooper. Washington then made it 68-28 with a pair of free throws before Landrum hit another three with 6:22 left to force a Red Wolves timeout.

The Red Wolves kept working away at the deficit while Landrum remained hot en route to her record-setting performance. Martin hit three straight free throws before the Red Wolves ended a near six-minute field-goal drought with a pair of inside baskets by Washington and Martin with a little over a minute left in the third. A three-point play by Trinity Oliver ended the third stanza with Baylor leading 85-35.

Egbo scored nine of her 13 points in the fourth quarter, as she opened the final 10 minutes with the first four points of the quarter. A-State responded with four straight on a Washington jumper and a pair of free throws by Martin before Landrum killed the run with a three. The Red Wolves then went on a stretch of over six minutes without a field goal while the Lady Bears went on a 13-0 run that included Landrum’s NCAA-record-breaking three with 2:01 left.

Trinitee Jackson ended the drought with a bucket off the glass with 1:46 left and then scored the last point of the day with a free throw with 23 seconds left.

The Red Wolves will be back in action at 2 p.m. CT on Sunday, Dec. 29, in Ruston, Louisiana, taking on longtime rival Louisiana Tech.

WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI