LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The University of Arkansas women’s basketball team opened a present early winning its final game over Virginia Commonwealth at the Duel in the Desert in Las Vegas, Nev., Monday.
The Razorbacks (7-5) downed VCU (5-5), 68-58, in a come-from-behind effort in the final game before the holiday break. Arkansas returns to the hardwood Dec. 29, hosting Sam Houston State in the first of three consecutive home contests.
The victory stopped a three-game skid for Arkansas.
“I was proud of the team for the effort today,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “We talked about bouncing back and it wasn’t an easy bounce back against a team we could just go out and beat up on. This is another team I think could be in the NCAA Tournament at the end of the year. At the beginning of the game we were okay and we gained some confidence going into the locker room. It just kept growing and the more it grew the better we played.”
Arkansas opened the game much the same way as it had finished the previous three contests — with cold shooting. The Razorbacks were 1-for-8 at the first media timeout and VCU sprinted out to a 12-3 lead.
The Razorbacks slowly warmed-up and managed to tie the game and even take a one-point lead but Arkansas was not able to control the tempo or stop the VCU scoring attack in the first half.
Arkansas was behind, 29-32, at the break after VCU shot 41.9 percent and held Arkansas to a 39.3 percent performance.
But the road-weary Razorbacks were tough in the second half. VCU grew its lead to as many as six but the Razorbacks chipped away at the score tying the game at 50-all with 6:58 to play.
The next basket, a layup from senior Charity Ford, would give Arkansas the lead and the Razorbacks responded with an increase on the defensive end of the floor.
A 10-0 run by Arkansas stretched the lead to nine with just over three minutes to play and the Razorbacks would lead by as many as 12 late in the ballgame before winning by 10.
Ford and sophomore C’eria Ricketts scored all the points during the more than five minute VCU scoring lapse.
Arkansas finished the game with four players in double figures led by Ricketts with 18 points and eight boards. Ford finished with 15 points followed by 11 from freshman Dominique Robinson and 10 from sophomore Lyndsay Harris.
The Razorbacks out-rebounded VCU, 45-33, led by sophomore Ashley Daniels who tied her career-best with 11.
VCU was paced by D’Andra Moss who led all scorers with 19 points. Two other players were in double-digits for the Rams.