CHICAGO (11/22/19) – Facing one of nation’s perennial national title contenders, the Arkansas State women’s basketball team managed to shoot the ball well, but 27 turnovers were costly as A-State dropped a 109-64 decision at No. 19/20 DePaul on Friday morning at McGrath-Phillips Arena.
The Red Wolves (1-3) shot 47.9 percent from the floor on 23-of-48 shooting against the Blue Demons (3-1) in the opening game of the 2019 Maggie Dixon Classic. However, DePaul was effective in turning those turnovers into scoring opportunities, earning 48 points off turnovers. Twenty of those turnovers came in the first half, with A-State cleaning things up in the second half and only giving up seven takeaways.
“We have to get off to a better start,” head coach Matt Daniel said. “We started the game slow and we have to get a lot better on defense. Once we settled in during the last three quarters, we played pretty well for the most part. We turned the ball over 20 times in the second half and we got better only turning it over seven times in the second half, but we still have a lot we need to improve on.”
Eleven players scored for the Red Wolves, led by a career-high 21 by Morgan Wallace, which led all players. Peyton Martin added 13 points on 4-of-6 from the field and 5-of-7 at the free-throw line. Jireh Washington added seven, while Hailee Erickson chipped in a career-high six.
The Blue Demons saw multiple players score in double figures on Friday, led by Jolene Daninger’s 16 points off the bench that all came in the first half on 6-of-10 shooting (4-of-8 from three). Chante Stonewall added 13 points, while Deja Church and Dee Bekelja added 12 apiece. Kelly Campbell scored 11, all in the first half, while Keke Rimmer also chipped in 11 points. As a team, DePaul shot 48.9 percent (44-of-90) from the field, including 38.1 percent from beyond the arc (16-of-42). DePaul also won the battle of the boards, 48-26.
DePaul netted the opening bucket, but the Red Wolves responded quickly with a driving layup by Martin to tie things up at 2. The Blue Demons then went on a 13-2 run behind a pair of treys by Campbell and one by Morris to lead 15-4.
The Blue Demons then scored nine unanswered on five more three-balls to stretch their lead out to 24-4. Another 10-0 run midway through the quarter made it 38-7 before A-State reached double-figures on a free throw by Martin and a shot off the glass by Shameka Tubbs.
A-State closed the opening quarter with some momentum, mounting on a 5-0 run on free throws by Washington and Morgan Wallace that sandwiched another inside bucket by Tubbs. DePaul led 45-15 after the first 10 minutes.
The Red Wolves cleaned things up a bit in the second quarter, outscoring the Blue Demons 20-19 behind 12 points from Wallace in the quarter. Just under midway through the second, Wallace connected on three straight points with Payton Tennison adding a short-range jumper to make it 53-24.
With under four minutes to go, Wallace once again aided a brief A-State scoring stretch, converting a pair of free throws followed by a layup in transition with two minutes to go. After DePaul’s Hannah Purcell knocked down a bucket, the Red Wolves had the ball with under 30 seconds to go in search of the last shot of the half.
With just four seconds to go, Washington found Wallace, who buried a trey to end the half on a strong note for the Scarlet and Black. DePaul led 64-35 at the half.
The Blue Demons opened the second half on a 7-0 run to lead 71-35. However, the Red Wolves responded quickly with a 5-0 run on a three-point play by Martin followed by a driving layup by Washington to make it 71-40.
Wallace added to her total with a layup with under five minutes left and scored three more on a free throw and a layup later in the stanza. A Starr Taylor floater with under a minute capped off A-State’s third-quarter scoring. With 10 minutes left, the Blue Demons led 91-49.
The Red Wolves opened the fourth with Wallace laying in a bucket to give her 21 on the day, setting a career high. Erickson knocked down her first of two treys with under 8 minutes to go to make it 95-54 but the Blue Demons answered with one of their own.
After the media timeout, Mya Love scored her first point as a Red Wolf, converting one of her two free throw tries. Maggie Mahan then tallied her first points of the year, sinking a pair of shots at the charity stripe with under 50 seconds to go. Then, with nine seconds on the clock, Erickson connected from deep once again, giving her a career-high six points on the day.
The Red Wolves will take on North Carolina A&T at 1 p.m. CT in the third-place game of the Maggie Dixon Classic. The Aggies dropped a hard-fought 68-67 game to No. 16/17 Miami in the second game of the day on Friday. As with all A-State women’s basketball games, the contest can be heard on the EAB Red Wolves Radio Network on 95.3 The Ticket.
For the latest on the A-State women’s basketball program, follow @AStateWB on Twitter and @astatewbb on Instagram, while also liking the team’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/RedWolvesWBB.