JONESBORO- On a night with spectacular assists all over the court, the Arkansas State women’s basketball team easily handled in-state opponent Williams Baptist 96-46 in the First National Bank Arena Friday night.
With the win the Red Wolves improved to 2-1 on the season and earned its first ever win over WBU in its first ever matchup with the Walnut Ridge school. A-State passed the ball well as the Red Wolves registered 26 assists on the night.
“If we share the ball and get everyone involved, it’s like a machine,” guard Jada Stinson said. “We all play our own parts and if we share the ball everybody gets a part in the game. To me, seeing somebody else score makes me happy.”
Four Red Wolves scored in double digits including Stinson, Morgan Wallace, Jireh Washington and Trinitee Jackson. Stinson led the team with 21 points while Jackson scored 12. Wallace and Washington both chipped in with 10 points each.
“I need everybody,” Stinson said. “This is a team, there’s no I in team. I need them and they need me. If I can get them involved and they can get me involved, we’re going to be fine throughout the rest of the season. Assists for us is something I think we value probably the most.”
A-State head coach Matt Daniel talked about the team’s ball movement and highlighted one play in the game that perhaps illustrated the team’s unselfishness on the night the best.
In a game where 14 of 15 Red Wolves scored at least once, senior Hailee Erickson found herself in a two-on-one break late in the fourth quarter and instead of shooting a contested layup, Erickson passed to Mattie Hatcher who finished the move with an easy layup.
“On a night where kids can get selfish, we were unselfish,” Daniel said. “I’ll give you a great example. Hailee Erickson, the only person that didn’t score, two-on-one break, could’ve put it on the glass just to get one and our bench is going nuts because they love Hailee, ‘Score, Score, Score!’ She drops it off to Mattie (Hatcher) and that’s why Hailee’s on our roster. That’s the type of human she is and everyone loves her.”
Senior Peyton Martin started for the first time this season after coming off the bench in the Red Wolves’ opening two games of the season. Unfortunately for A-State, the Red Wolves are set to lose Martin for a few weeks as the senior will have surgery next week.
Daniel said Martin will be out for a few weeks, but he does not know exactly how long she will be out.
A-State has a heavy slate of games scheduled for next week with Champion Christian traveling to Jonesboro for games Dec. 15 and 17, with a matchup against Grambling sandwiched in the middle Dec. 16.
Daniel noted Sun Belt Conference results against the SWAC have not been great recently. A-State lost to UAPB 85-68 and Grambling recently beat Louisiana Monroe 66-42.
“Grambling’s a really good team,” Daniel said. “They’ve been to the NCAA tournament. They know what that looks like. We’re trying to build that culture.”
The Red Wolves start their three game slate Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. in the First National Bank Arena.