Arkansas State made a more than graceful return to the WNIT on Friday, taking down Jackson State at home by a score of 92-60 in the first round of the event. It’s the first appearance in the WNIT for the Red Wolves since 1998, and the team advances to the quarterfinals to play either Mississippi State or Mercer.
Leading the way for Arkansas State (1-0) was Aundrea Gamble, a junior guard who had 15 points and nine rebounds. Amanda Lawson scored 12 points and chipped in with four assists. Jackson State (0-1) got 23 points in the college debut of Derica Wiggins, who averaged more than 33 points a game last year as a high school senior.
Arkansas State’s hopes to attack the rim on offense paid off in the first half, with the Red Wolves shooting 19 free throws on the way to a 47-18 lead. Meanwhile, Jackson State coughed up 14 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, missed all six 3-point attempts and made just six shots from the field.
The Lady Tigers finally found some offensive flow in the second half, but Arkansas State never slowed down itself as 12 different Red Wolves put points on the board. The Red Wolves shot better than 50 percent from the field, had a 48-35 edge in rebounding and had a commanding 20-0 edge in fast-break points.