TULSA, Okla. – University of Arkansas junior Keira Peak
posted her first career double-double with a career-best 17 points and 14 rebounds leading the Razorbacks to a 64-56 overtime win at Tulsa Thursday.
Down three with 13 seconds remaining regulation, fifth-year senior Kelsey Hatcher
drained a huge three-pointer to tie the back-and-forth game and send it into overtime. Arkansas moves to 2-0 on the year while Tulsa falls to 0-3 on the season.
“It was a designed play,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen
said. “The ball came out to her, she dribbled and made a defender fly by her, stepped back and hit it. It’s great to see her have that success after all of her hard work.”
As the physical game moved into overtime, it was Tulsa who scored first but Arkansas rallied to again tie the contest at 54. Tulsa stole the ball and their leading scorer, Taleya Mayberry, raced down the court but missed an open layup that seemed to knock the wind out of the home team’s sails.
Mayberry, the daughter of Arkansas great Lee Mayberry, finished with a game-best 20 points.
Arkansas rebounded the miss and Quistelle Williams
was fouled. The Grand Rapids, Mich., native hit both giving Arkansas a 56-54 lead they would not surrender. Williams finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Senior Sarah Watkins
had a quiet 14 points and five boards, while Hatcher and sophomore Calli Berna
had eight each in the win.
Arkansas opened strong jumping out to an 11-2 lead at the first media timeout. The balanced early game scoring was led by Watkins with four points in the opening minutes.
The Golden Hurricane fought back and closed the gap to two points, 20-18 at the 5:32 mark, but Peak caught fire and scored eight points and pulled in four rebounds stretching the Arkansas lead to 28-18 with under five to play in the half.
The Razorbacks, however, hit a scoring wall and were unable to put the ball in the hoop in the final 4:02 of the period while Tulsa went on a 10-0 run to tie the game at 28 at the break. Tulsa hit four of its last six shots in the half paced by Mayberry who had 15 at the break.
Tulsa’s offense continued to shoot well to start the second half and the Razorbacks struggled to match the Golden Hurricane. The home team stretched the lead to seven with under eight minutes to play.
Arkansas broke the huddle from a media timeout and stepped up the defensive effort getting Tulsa flustered. They held Tulsa without a score from 8:20- 3:04, and tied the game at 49-all. The teams tossed up a flurry of shots without either team hitting a bucket. Tulsa finally broke the tie with a three pointer at the 3:04 from Mayberry forcing Arkansas to chase them once again.
The score would remain in Tulsa’s favor as the teams exchanged possessions until the one-minute mark. Tulsa turned the ball over when Watkins forced a steal but she missed the ensuing jumper and the rebound went to the opponent. That’s when Mayberry missed a key shot, Arkansas rebounded and Hatcher hit the shot to tie the game sending it to overtime.
The Razorback season continues Monday at Oral Roberts followed by a week-long trip to Hawai’i where Arkansas faces Oklahoma, Oregon and the host, Hawai’i.