ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Calli Berna
flirted with a triple-double at 12 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds, while Jhasmin Bowen
had a career-high 20 points, as the University of Arkansas women's basketball team (7-0) rolled to an 88-37 win over Southeast Missouri (2-5) inside The Pit on Friday night.
Four Razorbacks reached double-digit scoring for the fourth time this season, as Arkansas shot 57 percent from the floor collectively and nine players scored in the opening game of the New Mexico Tournament in Albuquerque, N.M.
“I think it started at the defensive end and we were awfully good there taking away what they did,” head coach Tom Collen
said. “That allowed us to get in transition. I think when you allow Calli to get out in transition, she’s pretty good there and is going to pick you apart.”
Berna was able to get plenty of teammates involved in the big win, as freshman Jessica Jackson
and senior Keira Peak
each added 15 points to join Berna and Bowen in double figures. Peak also surpassed the 500 career-rebound mark in the win.
“The thing that I was most proud of was the way they executed,” Collen added. “They did a good job of getting Jhas involved down low. We’ve been trying to do more and more of that lately. She responded and had a great game.”
Arkansas asserted itself early, forcing a number of early baskets in the paint to open up a 17-4 lead just over midway through the first half. Jackson led the way with five points in the paint, while Bowen added four points of her own down low.
The Razorback defense also came out strong, locking down SEMO and helping Arkansas piece together a 17-0 run to extend its lead to 23-4 at the 7:54 mark. The Redhawks were held over 10 minutes without a single point, closing the first half shooting just 21 percent to the Razorbacks’ 52 percent. The Razorbacks also forced SEMO into nine turnovers during the first half, leading to 15 points off of turnover and a 38-14 lead at the break.
Berna highlighted the first half for the Razorbacks and headed into the locker room with nine points on 4-of-5 shooting, adding in five assists and four rebounds to round out her stat sheet. Jackson and Peak added eight points each, as Berna, Jackson and Peak combined to score 25 points and accounted for over 65 percent of the team’s first-half offense.
The Razorbacks kept their blistering offensive performance rolling out of the break, as the Razorbacks ran off a 10-2 run and extended its lead to 48-16 with 16:46 to play. Freshman McKenzie Adams
paced the way with a quick six points on perfect shooting, as Arkansas shot 57.1 percent collectively and 50 percent from three-point range over the first three minutes of the second half.
The game would never draw any closer for the Redhawks, as the Razorbacks continued to frustrate SEMO offensively. Entering the game ranked second in the SEC in three-point defense, Arkansas held SEMO to 1-of-15 shooting from beyond the arc. The Razorbacks also out-rebounded the Redhawks by a 49-to-32 margin.
With the win over Southeast Missouri, Arkansas advances to play in the New Mexico Tournament championship tomorrow and will face either Binghamton or host team New Mexico at either 6 or 8 p.m.
For more information on Arkansas women’s basketball, follow @RazorbackWBB