LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A four minute scoring draught sealed the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team’s fate as they fell to UTSA in the second round of the Duel in the Desert in Las Vegas, Nev. Sunday.
The Razorbacks (6-5) face the loser of VCU (5-3)/Kansas State (4-6) at 2 p.m. Central Monday in their final game of the tournament after the 71-55 loss to the Roadrunners.
The Razorbacks return to Fayetteville for the holiday break. Arkansas’ next game is a home contest Dec. 29, hosting Sam Houston State in the final non-conference game and the final game of the 2009 calendar year.
Arkansas had a solid first half of play shooting 48 percent from the floor led by sophomore Ashley Daniels with six points at the break. The Razorbacks held a slight, 20-18, edge in rebounding and had five blocked shots to lead 30-25 at the half.
But Arkansas faltered in the second frame giving up the lead and eventually the game behind 16 second-half turnovers and just 35.7 percent shooting from the field.
UTSA stepped up its efforts in the second period hitting nearly 50 percent of its shots and going 24-of-29 from the line for 82.8 percent.
“We just didn’t take care of the basketball,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “We looked very, very tentative on offense and when we tried to move the ball around on the perimeter we threw it away before we gave ourselves a chance to score.”
UTSA scored first out of the break but Arkansas answered quickly on a layup from senior Ashley McCray. McCray finished with nine points and five rebounds in the game.
The teams again traded baskets until UTSA went on a 14-3 run that ate up more than five minutes in the quickly dwindling half.
The game was tied at 37 when a jumper by UTSA gave the Roadrunners a lead they would extend and never surrender. UTSA would lead by as many as 14 before winning by 16. The Roadrunners were just 2-of-7 from the line in the first half but hit 24 bonus shots in the second, a stat that would be in the difference in the game.
Arkansas finished with 28 turnovers in the loss. Senior Charity Ford was the Razorbacks’ leading scorer with 10 points, followed by McCray with nine, Lyndsay Harris with eight and Dominique Robinson with seven.
The Razorbacks out-rebounded UTSA, 39-35, paced by eight from McCray. Daniels added seven and C’eria Ricketts and Quistelle Williams had five each.