Wolves denied first dance


NEW ORLEANS — Arkansas State stood 10 ½ minutes away from its first NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament with a 14-point lead over Western Kentucky. In 8 minutes, that lead was gone.

Aundrea Gamble missed two go-ahead baskets in the final minute, and the second-seeded Hilltoppers knocked off the regular-season champion Red Wolves 61-60 Saturday in the Sun Belt Conference championship game.

Just seconds after a Carlisha Wyatt layup took back the lead for the Red Wolves (22-10), Kendall Noble put the Hilltoppers (23-8) back in front with a basket at the 1:21 mark. Gamble, who had 22 points and 13 rebounds, missed a jumper but A-State rebounded a Western Kentucky miss for one last opportunity.

Gamble’s layup attempt with 3 seconds left would not go in, and the Red Wolves could not get another shot off in time.

Jane Morrill added 14 points for A-State. Chastity Gooch led Western Kentucky with 26 points and 12 rebounds.

MEN’S SEMIFINAL

Georgia State 72, A-State 45

NEW ORLEANS — Arkansas State couldn’t carry enough energy from its four-overtime quarterfinal win over Arkansas-Little Rock into Saturday’s semifinal against Georgia State.

The top-seeded Panthers dominated the Red Wolves 72-45 behind Ryan Harrow’s 20 points and R.J. Hunter’s 16. Kendrick Washington had 12 points and 12 rebounds to lead A-State (19-13).

Georgia State has won 22 of its last 23, including eight straight.