Sun Belt Conference Women’s Basketball Weekend Review
The Sun Belt Conference women’s basketball standings remain jumbled, after four big league games on Saturday, with five teams tied for second place, and two more teams only one-half game behind.
The team that’s all alone in first place are the Arkansas St. Red Wolves, who went to Bowling, Green, Kentucky and captured a big 67-64 win over the WKU Lady Toppers on Saturday.
Trailing, 59-55, with 4:40 to play, Arkansas St. went on a 7-0 run, giving them a 62-59 advantage with 2:19 remaining, a lead which they would not relinquish, securing ASU’s third-straight win over WKU, and third-consecutive win in Bowling Green.
Aundrea Gamble led the way for the Red Wolves, with 20 points.
With the win, Arkansas St. improved to 11-7, overall, and 5-1 in Sun Belt Conference play, while WKU fell to 11-5, overall, and 3-2 in league play.
The Troy Trojans snapped an eight-game losing streak, and captured their first Sun Belt Conference victory of the year on Saturday, defeating Louisiana’s Ragin Cajuns, 87-75, in Troy, Alabama.
The key to the game was the final ten minutes of the first half, when Troy held Louisiana without a field goal, building a double digit lead.
Joanna Harden, the leading scorer in the conference, paced all scorers, with 28 points.
By snapping the losing streak, the Trojans improved to 5-12, overall, and 1-5 in conference play.
The Cajuns had their three-game road win streak come to an end, as they fell to 10-6, overall, and 3-2 in league play.
In Atlanta, Georgia, the Georgia St. Panthers squeaked out a 61-59 come-from-behind win over the UALR Trojans.
Georgia St. trailed, 49-36, with 11:04 to go, when the Panthers rallied to tie the game, 57-57, with 1:50 remaining.
Later, with the game knotted up, 59-59, Georgia St.’s Gaby Moss put home a put-back basket with only :02 remaining, to lift the Panthers to the two-point win.
Alisha Andrews led the way for Georgia St., scoring 22 points.
With the win, Georgia St. improved to 7-10, overall, and 3-2 in Sun Belt Conference play, while UALR fell to 8-8, and 3-3, respectively.
The last of the four conference games on Saturday had the South Alabama Jaguars edging the ULM Warhawks, 72-70, in Mobile, Alabama.
Rachel Cumbo, who led all scorers with 19 points, went 4-for-4 at the free throw line over the last 18 seconds, to help propel South Alabama to the 2-point win.
The loss snapped a three-game losing streak for South Alabama, who improved to 5-11, overall, and 3-3 in league play, while ULM’s three-game win streak came to an end, as they fell to 7-10, overall, and 3-2 in conference play.
So, after a weekend in which three of the four conference game were decided by three point, or less, it’s becoming pretty clear that the race for both the conference championship, and tournament seeding, is going to be a wide open affair.
Arkansas St. is currently atop the conference standings, at 5-1, with Louisiana, WKU, ULM, Georgia St., and Texas St. all tied for second place, at 3-2, while UALR and South Alabama are both 3-3.
Troy is currently 1-5, and UT-Arlington stands at 0-5, but each of those teams are capable of putting together a solid streak of games and getting back in the race as well.
The league race has been fun so far, and if the final eight weeks of the regular season are anything like last Saturday, many of the school should have a lot to play for in late February, into early March.