JONESBORO, Arkansas - Jasmine Bendolph and Brittany Hardy each scored 17 points to lead Louisiana Tech to a 69-59 win over Arkansas State before 938 fans at the Convocation Center Tuesday night.
The victory was the third straight for LA Tech (5-6) which heads to New York this weekend to compete in the St. John's Chartwell Holiday Classic starting Saturday with a 2 p.m. tipoff against Memphis.
Hardy came off the bench to hit 7-of-10 field goals, including 3-of-4 from three-point range, and scored a career-high 17 points with 12 coming in a first half that saw the Lady Techster take a 33-27 lead into the locker room. Bendolph hit 7-of-9 field goals, 1-of-2 from beyond the arc, as she scored 11 in the second half, including eight straight during one stretch.
"We need Jasmine Bendolph offensively," said Tech head coach Teresa Weatherspoon. "We need her offense and leadership every night. We know what Brittany is capable of doing. She can really shoot the basketball and as she continues to get in better shape, she will only get better for us."
For the third straight game, the Lady Techster bench came up big as Hardy, Tavasha Anderson, Angie Felton and Kiara Young combined to score 39 points in the game. In Tech's three-game winning streak, the Lady Techster reserves have scored 111 points compared to 100 points by the Tech starters.
"It's so big for me to be able to go to our bench and know that they are going to produce," Weatherspoon said. "They are doing a great job. For us to continue to be successful, we need production from as many people as possible."
In a first half that saw four ties and 10 lead changes, Arkansas State's biggest lead was only two points on several different occasions. A pair of free throws by Jane Morrill at the 5:49 mark of the first half gave Arkansas State its last lead at 21-20.
A Whitney Frazier layup followed by five straight points by Hardy gave Tech a 26-20 lead. A conventional three-point play by Anderson with 1:07 to play in the opening stanza gave the Lady Techsters their biggest advantage of the half at 31-24.
Tech hit 48 percent (15-31) of its field goals in the first half compared to only 28 percent (10-34) by the Red Wolves but 10 first half turnovers allowed Arkansas State to stay close.
The second half started with Arkansas State scoring five straight points as the Red Wolves cut the deficit to 33-32 on a Morrill layup less than three minutes into the final period. However, Hardy answered with a three-pointer and Frazier added two free throws as the lead was pushed back to 38-32.
With Tech leading 48-39 midway through the half, Bendolph caught fire scoring seven straight points on three straight trips down the floor. Her three-pointer - the team leading 22nd of the year - with 10:01 to play made the score 55-43. Tech's biggest lead came at 60-45 on a Young free throw with 7:54 to play.
Arkansas State would get no closer than nine the rest of the way.
For the game, Tech shot 47 percent (25-53) from the field, 5-of-9 from the three-point line, and 14-of-21 from the free throw line. The Lady Techster outrebounded the Red Wolves 39-34.
Morrill led Arkansas State with 20 points while Quinishia McDowell and Nene Hurst added 12 each.