A-State cruises past Central Baptist

Arkansas State’s Mya Love chases a loose ball during the first half of Monday night’s game against Central Baptist. ASU rolled to an 85-39 victory.

JONESBORO — Arkansas State tuned up for Sun Belt Conference play Monday night with an 85-39 rout of Central Baptist College in women’s basketball at First National Bank Arena.

Forward Peyton Martin scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds in 20 minutes of playing time off the bench. Martin was 9-of-18 from the field.

“Peyton is coming back off the knee surgery,” ASU head coach Matt Daniel said during his postgame radio interview. “She was full cleared today, this morning, so she got a little bit winded, but we wanted to get her reps and get her wind back and wanted her to know what it feels like.”

Guard Jireh Washington finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists as ASU (5-1) posted its fifth consecutive victory. Guard Mattie Hatcher added 11 points off the bench, sinking 3-of-7 attempts from the 3-point line, and forward Karolina Syzdlowska added 10 points and 11 rebounds for her first career double-double.

Eleven players scored as the Red Wolves shot 44.3 percent from the field. ASU was 9-of-31 (29 percent) from the 3-point line and had a 56-44 rebounding advantage.

The Red Wolves forced 16 turnovers and finished with just four of their own.

“We got better tonight,” Daniel said. “We got to work on rotations and they let me mold them a little bit like clay tonight, and we were able to work on some different things, which was really good. I’m really proud of the resiliency our group has had, especially considering everything that’s going on.”

ASU opened an 18-9 lead in the first quarter and outscored Central Baptist 26-10 in the second period to take a 44-19 halftime lead. The Red Wolves led 68-30 after the third quarter.

Izzy Arnold, Alaina Ellis and Holly Allen each scored 10 points for the Mustangs, while Ellis grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.

Monday’s game was a recent addition to ASU’s schedule after the Red Wolves were unable to play Louisiana-Monroe last weekend. ULM postponed the two-game Sun Belt set because of COVID-19 issues within its program.

ASU hosts Texas State in Sun Belt play this coming weekend, tipping off Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m. The Bobcats (4-1, 1-1 Sun Belt) split two conference games against Louisiana-Lafayette at home last weekend.