Lady Indians score season-high 98 points

JONESBORO, Ark. -- Ali Carter was just one part of Arkansas State's big night.

The junior from Pocahontas scored 25 points to lead five Lady Indians in double figures as ASU defeated Arkansas 98-84 in a second-round game Monday night in the Women's National Invitation Tournament.

"Tonight was just an unbelievable game," said Carter, who plays with a mask to protect a healing broken nose. "This game is big for ASU, it is big for Jonesboro and it is big for the state of Arkansas as a whole. We are just so lucky to be a part of this game."

Carter and her Lady Indians teammates scored a season-high total that was also the most points scored against a Lady Razorbacks team this season.

Aside from Carter, the other Lady Indians in double figures were Rudy Sims with 20, Adrianne Davie 17, Zaneta Lane 16 and Kelsey Lock 11. Davie also had 14 rebounds.

"Not to take anything away from Arkansas State, but that was not the defensive team that I have grown accustomed to," Arkansas coach Susie Gardner said. "No one has been able to score on us like that this year."

ASU coach Brian Boyer had the Lady Indians hold the ball the final 30 seconds instead of shooting for 100.

The Lady Indians attempted 51 foul shots, the fourth most in school history, making 37 of them. In the second half, the Lady Indians shot 63 percent from the free-throw line, 17-of-27.

"Obviously it was a big win for us," Boyer said. "I thought our girls did a great job of staying focused with everything that was going on.

"At times we had some defensive lapses," he continued. But "we got the lead early and were able to maintain it."

The victory moves ASU (21-10) into a quarterfinal game later this week against Iowa (22-9).

The rare meeting between the Arkansas schools drew an ASU Convocation Center record crowd of 10,892.

Sarah Pfeifer led Arkansas (17-14) with a career-high 26 points and 12 rebounds. Rochelle Vaughn and Adrienne Bush scored 13 each.

In the second half, the Lady Razorbacks got as close as 73-66 with 5:27 left, but five Lady Indians scored in a 10-0 run that built an 83-66 cushion. ASU's largest lead was 85-67 with 3:15 left.

The Lady Indians ran off to a 9-2 start in the first 3:50 of the game. The Lady Razorbacks trimmed the margin to 26-25 with 5:30 left in the first half but ASU answered that with a 6-0 run -- getting four of those points from Sims -- and a 32-25 margin with 4:03 left in the half.

The Lady Indians controlled the half, and only Pfeifer's play -- she had scored 12 points by intermission -- kept the Lady Razorbacks in the game. ASU had a 41-33 lead at halftime.