Score: Arkansas State 71 - ULM 56
Teams: ULM (3-9, 0-1 SBC)
Ark. State (3-10, 1-0 SBC)
Location: Jonesboro, Ark. (Convocation Center)
Jonesboro, Ark. - The ULM women’s basketball team opened Sun Belt Conference play on the road Thursday night and was unable to keep pace with Arkansas State in the second half as the host Red Wolves handed the Warhawks a 71-56 defeat. Arkansas State shot 42.8 percent (12-of-28) in the second half to pull away from what was a tied game at the half.
-The teams went to the locker rooms tied at the half, but early in the third quarter ASU went on a 9-0 run to push out to a 14-point lead. The Red Wolves would maintain that lead throughout the rest of the night.
-Arkansas State went to the free throw line 27 times compared to ULM's six total attempts. At the half, the Red Wolves had attempted eight free throws, while all six of the Warhawk attempts came in the opening two quarters.
-Alexis Collins posted a team-high 21 points in the contest for ULM. Collins shot 47 percent from the floor (7-of-17) and was 4-of-6 at the line. The junior filled out her stat line with four total rebounds, five assists and one steal.
-Gabriella Cortez also put up double digit points with 11. Cortez knocked down five of her 15 shots while pulling down nine total rebounds (7 defensive) and five assists.
-As a team, the Warhawks shot 35.9 percent on the game compared to the 41 percent of ASU. ULM held the Red Wolves to 39.3 percent (13-of-33) in the first half, but Arkansas State bounced back in the second half to post a second half field goal percentage of 42.8 (12-of-28).
-The Warhawks went to the free throw line just six times on the night. All six of those shots came from Collins (4-of-6). ASU, however, went to the line for 27 total attempts (13-of-27). The Warhawks ended the night with 22 personal fouls compared to the 11 of the Red Wolves.
-Although the Warhawks finished with more points in the paint (30-26), Arkansas State finished the contest leading in points off turnovers (18-8), second chance points (15-12), fast break points (9-2), and bench points (17-6).
-Arkansas State’s Jada Ford posted a game-high 24 points on the night shooting 8-of-20 from the floor (40 percent) and shot 3-of-8 from behind the arch (37.5 percent). Ford also recorded five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
FROM COACH DOW
About the team: I thought that our overall competitiveness was certainly good enough the entire game. We felt good going into the locker room at halftime tied at 33 in light of the fact that we had multiple people in foul trouble, plus Andreana Jackson getting injured and not being able to play in the second half.
Trouble Areas: One of the things that we’ve emphasized over the last three days is how important it is to be disciplined on defense and not foul. In the first half they shot eight free throws and in the second half they shot 19. We are always trying to stress foul pressure in terms of when we are on offense. We shot six free throws in the first half and all six of them came from Alexis Collins. Then the entire second half we shot zero. For them to shoot 27 free throws and us six, that’s a huge disparity that certainly killed us in the second half.
The other things that we talked about was that we really have to do a good job of defending the three-point line. Arkansas State came into tonight’s game being a slightly better three-point shooting team than they were from two. Of course they go out and go 6-of-10 from three in the second half and go 8-of-16 for the game. Although we attempted more three’s they made more than we did and them making nine more free throws than us really hurt.
Where do we go from here: I thought we battled and it’s going to be tough for us if we don’t have all of our ‘oars in the water’ so to speak and having a healthy, productive Andreanna Jackson; Stephanie Ratliff being productive and staying out of foul trouble and Carissa Moody staying out of foul trouble. We had to deal with a lot of things tonight and we had some lineups out there that aren’t groups of five that we would ordinarily put out there but we didn’t have much of a choice.
The Warhawks close out the 2016 calendar year with a Sun Belt Conference contest at Little Rock Saturday afternoon. The team will start off the new year with a road contest against Louisiana on January 7.
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