COLUMBIA, S.C. — A late scoring flurry erased an 18-point South Carolina lead as the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team rallied in Columbia, S.C., defeating the Gamecocks, 72-68, Sunday.
The Razorbacks (11-14, 3-9 SEC) completed the greatest comeback in an SEC game in Arkansas women’s basketball history with the win over South Carolina (13-12, 6-7 SEC).
Arkansas struggled for much of the game with poor shooting and trouble on the boards but a big rally late saw five players finish in double-figures in an exciting win.
“Well that was exciting,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “There was so much heart out there. This team stayed in there and chipped away and chipped away. All of a sudden we saw some life out there. It was good balanced scoring and I think you saw a couple of freshman in Q (Quistelle Williams) and Sarah (Watkins) grow up today.”
Williams tied her career-best with 13 points and had a career-high 11 boards in her first double-double.
With just over five minutes to play, Arkansas got a three-pointer from Lyndsay Harris cutting South Carolina’s lead to eight, 55-63. Harris finished with 14 leading Arkansas in a balanced scoring effort.
Senior Charity Ford followed with a signature steal from behind and raced the length of the floor for the layup. Ford finished with 14 as well and cut the margin to six.
Carolina missed on its next possession and Arkansas snared a hard-to-come-by rebound and returned to the offensive side of the court. Watkins stepped into the paint splitting a pair of defenders for a hard basket that cut the lead to four.
Watkins also had 14, 12 in the second half, in the win. Carolina again missed on its next possession and Williams grabbed the rebound kicking the ball wide to sophomore C’eira Ricketts who slashed her way in for a layup as the Razorback comeback continued. Ricketts had 14 points and five rebounds in the game.
Ricketts then picked up a loose ball and passed back to Ford who scored tying the game for the first time at 63 all with 2:32 to play.
The comeback had Carolina rattled and they were never able to settle down as Arkansas now extended the lead winning by four.
Arkansas shot 47.4 percent for the game after struggling early. The Razorbacks were 27-for-57 and hit five threes in the win. Arkansas was 13-for-15 from the line and had 32 boards in the game.
The first half was a struggle for the Razorbacks. Arkansas elevated its shooting to 33.3 percent in the first half and got a good effort from Williams who scored seven points and had five boards in the opening 20 minutes.
Arkansas ran into early foul trouble and had just two field goals through more than 12 minutes of play finishing the break with a 14-point, 21-35, deficit.
The rally from the 18-point deficit in the first half surpassed a previous all-time best of 17 points, set ironicly also in the state of South Carolina as Arkansas rallied in the opening round of the SEC Tournament hosted in Greenville, S.C., to defeat Miss State.
The Razorbacks conclude the 2009-10 regular season home schedule hosting Ole Miss Thursday and Alabama Sunday. Sunday is Senior Day and Pink Day in Bud Walton Arena.
Download: Arkansas-South Carolina.pdf