Free throws prove big as women’s basketball falls to Arkansas State

Red Wolves free throws had Georgia State women’s basketball seeing red as the Panthers were defeated by Arkansas State on the road by a final of 76-65. The loss brings Georgia State’s record to 8-9 and 3-5 in Sun Belt play.

First Half

The Red Wolves scored early and often in the first few minutes as they began this contest with a 7-0 run that included a three by junior guard Khadija Brown-Haywood. Arkansas State also got two points each early from redshirt junior guard Aundrea Gamble and redshirt senior guard Hanna Qedan.

Georgia State answered with a 12-0 run that included a pair of three-pointers from Alisha Andrews, and four points from Brittany Logan. A jumper from Miranda Smith boosted Georgia State ahead by 12-7.

The Panthers briefly maintained their early five-point advantage at 14-9. Sophomore guard Jamie Ruffins along with Gamble each placed in layups bringing the Red Wolves within one at 14-13.

Three points by Kayla Nolan plus a three by Makeba Ponder extended the Georgia State lead back to 20-13. Senior forward Jasmine Hunt placed in a layup to bring Arkansas State within five at 20-15, but Andrews’ third three of the game made it an eight-point game as the Panthers’ lead became 23-15.

Two more from Ponder gave Georgia State a 25-15 lead. A three from Gamble plus five more by Brown-Haywood equaled an 8-0 run and the shrinking of the Panthers’ lead to 25-23.

Georgia State responded with another 8-0 run with two each from Logan, Smith, Haley Gerrin and Kennesha Nichols making the score 33-23. Brown-Haywood then made a three bringing the Red Wolves within a 33-26 score.

Nichols’ third and fourth points gave the Panthers a 35-26 advantage. Another three by Brown-Haywood got Arkansas State within six at 35-29.

The Panthers’ lead would be eight at the half as Nichols upped her point output to six for a score of 37-29.

Second Half

Arkansas State opened the second frame with a 9-2 run as they got six more points from Qedan, a layup by Brown-Haywood and a made free throw by Hunt. The only Georgia State points in that sequence came courtesy of a two-pointer by Ponder as the Red Wolves closed to within 39-38.

With the score at 41-40 in the Panthers’ favor, another three by Andrews extended the Georgia State lead to 44-40, but a layup by Gamble made it 44-42. Andrews placed in another two points to give the Panthers a 46-42 lead before a 12-0 Red Wolves scoring streak. Redshirt junior Amanda Lawson scored six, Hunt added four points and Gamble scored two as the Red Wolves led by eight at 54-46.

Arkansas State maintained its eight-point advantage with leads of 56-48 and 58-50. It then grew to 60-50 as Qedan made a pair of free throws after being fouled by Nichols.

With the scoreboard reading 62-52 in the Red Wolves’ favor after a Gamble layup that included her being fouled by Andrews, she made the following free throw to make it a 63-52 contest.

A two-point jumper by Nichols and a three from Ponder allowed the Panthers to pull within 63-57. A layup and made free throw by Hunt after being fouled by Logan extended the Arkansas State lead back to nine at 66-57.

Ponder’s 11th and 12th points made it a 66-59 game. Two points each by Qedan and Lawson expanded the Red Wolves’ lead to 70-59.

With the score at 72-61, another three by Ponder brought Georgia State within eight at 72-64. But with around a minute left and needing to foul, Nolan fouled Ruffins who made both of her free throws making the lead ten again for Arkansas State with the score reading 74-64.

With under a minute to play, Logan was fouled by Brown-Haywood, then made one out of two from the free throw line. Gamble and Hunt would both make one of two from the line as the Red Wolves assumed a lead and final score of 76-65.

The Panthers will return to the hardwood on Saturday at the Sports Arena as they face Louisiana-Lafayette at noon.

Final Stats
Georgia State Arkansas State
Andrews: 18 points, 7-12 field goals Ponder: 15 points
Gamble: 21 points, 8-19 field goals Brown-Haywood: 18 points, 7-9 field goals