FAYETTEVILLE – Quistelle Williams
had a double-double and Dominique Wilson
lead three Razorbacks in double figures as the University of Arkansas women’s’ basketball team pulled out a 67-57 win to advance into the second round of the WNIT Thursday.
With the win, Arkansas moves to 20-12 overall and hosts Tulane Sunday at 2 p.m. in Bud Walton Arena. Tickets for Sunday’s game will be on sale beginning Friday morning. Contact the Razorback Ticket Center at 479-575-5151 or buy them on-line at ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Tickets will be $6 for youth, $7 for general admission, $11 for reserved seating and $1 for UA students.
“It always feels good to get the win,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “We took a pretty good game and made it hard but I’m proud of the way our team hung in and pulled it out. It’s good to win, it’s good to play again and I’m glad we are at home.”
Wilson led Arkansas with 15 points followed by sophomore Calli Berna
with 14 and Williams dropped in 12 points and had 11 rebounds for the Razorbacks.
It took nearly four minutes for the Razorbacks to hit their first basket from the floor but once Wilson connected on a three from the right side Arkansas’ offense settled into a rhythm.
Arkansas used a deliberate, methodical pace to work back from an early game deficit taking a lead, 6-5, as they continued to extend the advantage as the minutes ticked on in the first half.
The teams moved into the second 10 minutes and Arkansas put together an 8-0 run behind senior Erin Gatling
who hit a layup and had two steals behind great team defense as the Razorbacks stretched the lead to eight, 18-10. Collen was liberal with the bench substituting freely in an effort to wear down the Tigers.
The Arkansas scoring run continued, 13-1, as the Tigers struggled with the Razorbacks’ smothering player-to-player coverage.
The Tigers hit two baskets but the Razorbacks found another gear hitting seven of their next 10 shots doubling up the score over Memphis.
As the first half came to a close, Arkansas had a 39-21 lead heading into the locker room. The Razorbacks shot 48.4 percent, the fourth-best shooting percent in a first half this season. Wilson led all scorers with 12 points going 5-for-5 in the opening frame.
The Razorbacks began the second half much the same as they started the game and struggled to get into their offensive rhythm. The Tigers sprinted out to a 5-0 run before Williams hit a baseline jumper to get the offense started.
Wilson hit a three from the left side on an in bounds play as the crowd got back into the game and Arkansas regained the momentum.
The Tigers were a different team in the second half. Their shots started falling and they picked up the defensive intensity and the Razorbacks were forced to adjust as the half wore on. The fouls started to pile up for Arkansas as the Tigers’ offense continued to connect.
Arkansas suffered with an 0-for-5 run while the Tigers put together a 6-0 run closing the gap to 12, 51-39. Memphis cut the Arkansas lead to six, 53-47, with a three pointer from the top of the key but an ensuing foul sent Berna to the line. The sophomore hit both freebies moving the lead back to eight for Arkansas with just over six minutes to play in the game.
The Razorbacks kept chipping away trading baskets finished the game with a 7-0 run to get the win and advance in the tournament.
For the game, Arkansas was 22-for-58 and hit seven three pointers. The Razorbacks were 16-for-22 from the line behind Bern’s 5-for-8 night and Sarah Watkins