FAYETTEVILLE – Four players in double-figures and 33 opponent turnovers were the keys to the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team’s 68-55 win over Davidson in Bud Walton Arena Sunday.
Arkansas (2-0) was paced by an 18-point effort from junior Lyndsay Harris and a smothering press that forced 33 Wildcat (0-2) turnovers. Junior C’eira Ricketts added 14, while junior Ashley Daniels and sophomore Sarah Watkins had 11 points each. Sophomore Quistelle Williams led Arkansas with eight rebounds.
"We didn’t expect to press that much in the game," Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said, "but I was pleased to know that we could when we needed it. We went in with a pretty good game plan for Davidson but I have to give them a lot of credit. They did a good job of changing looks and throwing a lot of things at us."
Harris paced the Razorbacks through the first half with 11 points including three, three-pointers. But Arkansas struggled to contain Davidson’s Sophia Aleksandravicius who had 16 first-half points.
The Wildcats trailed by just seven at the break, 33-26, in a game that was much closer than expected.
Davidson continued to chip into the Arkansas lead to start the second frame and cut the deficit to one, 37-36, at the 15:42 mark.
That’s when the Razorback adjustments kicked in. Ricketts got a pull-up jumper in the paint, two of her 14 in the game. She then forced a Davidson turnover at mid-court and prompted a Wildcat timeout.
The break was not enough to slow the Razorbacks as they came out of the timeout on a 14-3 run that stretched the Arkansas lead to 14, 51-37.
"We worked really hard to turn them over in the second half," Watkins said. "We switched up our defense and used a combination of looks to stop them."
"Defense helps you gain confidence," Harris added. "We fed off the defense and off of each other. We knew that Davidson would be very disciplined in running their offense and it was key to pressure their guards and turn them over. We did a better job of that in the second half."
Arkansas all but shut down Davidson’s inside game limiting Aleksandravicius to just two boards and two points in the second half.
"We made a commitment to guard her one-on-one in the second half," said Collen.
The Razorbacks finished the game shooting 40.9 percent from the floor on a 27-of-66 night. Arkansas was 6-of-17 from beyond the three-point line, led by five treys from Harris. Arkansas out-rebounded Davidson, 33-28, and had 17 assists, three blocks and 21 steals in the win.
Arkansas is in the midst of its longest home stand with five consecutive games in Bud Walton Arena. The Razorbacks host Mississippi Valley State Nov. 17, followed by Middle Tennessee State Nov. 21 and Tennessee State Nov. 23.v
Download: AR Game 2-Davidson.pdf