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Arkansas downs Dayton to move on

Athletic Communications
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Quistelle Williams, Keira Peak and C'eira Ricketts paced the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team to a 72-55 win over Dayton in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Saturday in College Station, Texas.

The Razorbacks (24-8) face the winner of the Texas A&M/Albany game Monday at 8:30 p.m.

Williams lead Arkansas with 15 points and seven rebounds.  Lyndsay Harris and Peak had 14 each and Ricketts added 13 in the win.  Ashley Daniels had 12 rebounds as the Razorbacks outrebounded Dayton 47-37 in the game. 

Arkansas finished the game shooting 39.4 percent on 26-for-66 from the floor. 

“I’m just really proud of these young ladies,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said.  “It was a great win for us and we are glad to be moving on.  This has been a program of breaking records a little bit at a time and this is a team who just wants to keep playing.”

“In the first half our defense was kind of slow but we told ourselves we were going to come out and pressure more in the second half,” said Ricketts.  “We did that and it was the difference.”

“I think the NCAA Tournament is enough said,” Williams said.  “Everyone has to step up and coach put me in and asked me to step up and I did.  My first couple of shots fell and I just kept pulling the trigger.”

A slow offensive start is nothing new for the Razorbacks and they found themselves trailing 9-3 at the first media timeout of the game.  Arkansas’ offense shot less than 20 percent through the first 10 minutes of play with the Razorbacks suffering through a 6:30 scoring draught.

Junior Quistelle Williams came in the game and hit two tough shots to spark the offense and close the gap to nine, 18-9, at the second media timeout but scoring continued to elude the Razorbacks.

Williams continued to hit shots but Dayton’s size gave Arkansas problems at every position and the rebounding advantage went to the Flyers early.  As a result, second chance points also favored Dayton and were the difference in the first 10 minutes.

Arkansas cut the lead to single digits around the four minute mark thanks, in part, to better rebounding, but an inadvertent foul swung the momentum back to the Flyers.

But Arkansas would not go away.

Peak heated up and hit a pair of baskets cutting the lead to four, 33-29, and forcing Dayton to burn a 30 second timeout with 2:30 remaining in the first half.

Peak continued her personal 6-0 run and helped Harris turnover the Flyers on the next possession with 1:27 to go in the half.

Arkansas closed the first 20 minutes on a 10-2 run tying the game at 35 at the half.  The Razorbacks were down four with just over a minute to go in the half when a Flyer foul put Ashley Daniels on the line.  The Coldwater, Miss., native hit both pulling Arkansas within two.

Daniels continued to play well getting a steal on the next possession and kicking the ball ahead to Ricketts who drove and was fouled.  Ricketts also made both of her bonus shots tying the game at 35 as the half came to a close.

Arkansas picked up where they left off on the second half going on an 8-2 run to open play but it was Dayton’s turn to answer.  The Flyers heated up from three-point range and closed the gap within one, where it would remain as the team’s traded baskets in the middle of the frame.

The Razorback rebounding and defense intensified as the second half wore on and, like it has all season, that defense sparked the offense and Arkansas went on an 11-0 run taking a 10-point, 63-53, lead with 7:09 to go in the game.

Arkansas held Dayton scoreless for more than six minutes at the mid-point of the half and finished holding the Flyers without a field goal for the final 12 minutes of the game.

For more information regarding Razorback women’s basketball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.

-Arkansas is 24-8 overall
-Arkansas is 13-9 all-time in the NCAA Tournament
-This is the 10th team appearance in the NCAA Tournament in Razorback history
-This is the first NCAA Tournament appearance for the Razorbacks since 2003
-Arkansas 1-1 all-time against 11th-seeds in the NCAA Tournament
-Common opponent:  South Florida – both teams defeated USF in the regular season
-The last time Arkansas lost an NCAA first round game was 1989 to Purdue…Tom Collen was an assistant coach on that Boilermaker team

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