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Balanced attack surges Arkansas past Wildcats 60-44

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Balanced attack surges Arkansas past Wildcats 60-44

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Freshman Lyndsay Harris sparked a balanced scoring-attack for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks in a 60-44 victory over the Northwestern University Wildcats in a Sunday afternoon women’s college basketball game at Bud Walton Arena.Defense proved the difference for Arkansas (4-0), who extended its home and overall winning streaks against non-conference teams by locking down the powerful inside game of the Wildcats (1-3).“Sometimes, you’ve got to make the game ugly to get a win,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “It came down to the press, and we tightened the down the screws in the second half and finally started turning them over.”For the game, Northwestern had 25 turnovers, but 15 of them in the second half when Arkansas pushed its advantage.“The steals and our full court press defense led to our offense,” Arkansas guard Charity Ford said.It was a three-point basket by Harris with 8:12 left putting Arkansas ahead, 43-34, which surged the Razorbacks into a non-relinquishing mindset on the court. After the basket, a Northwestern turnover set up a point-blank bucket for Whitney Jones.“Coach talked to us at half and said to slow down,” Jones said. “We tried to come out strong and play our game in the second half.”Arkansas then earned an impressive steal from Ford, as she looked ahead for senior Ayana Brereton who nailed a jumper to give Arkansas a, 47-34, commanding lead as the Wildcats bench screamed for a timeout.“I thought we had the right game plan and we controlled the tempo for the first 28 minutes,” NU head coach Joe McKeown said. “They hit some threes and they had that run and that was the game.”The Razorbacks largest lead of the game before the final came at 5:59 in the second-half after Shanita Arnold dialed up a three-point basket for a 50-34 advantage.Harris, Ford, and Ricketts all chipped in 10 points for Arkansas while Brereton and Jones added nine apiece. It marked the fourth-consecutive game Ricketts has scored in double-digits, while her hustle also brought attention with nine rebounds and four steals. Brereton pulled in nine rebounds as well, with five of those coming on the offensive end.The Wildcats tried to claw back cutting the deficit, 53-44, to nine with 2:12 to play. However, the Razorbacks sealed the deal finishing 12-for-17 from the free-throw line in the second half.Arkansas gained some breathing room with 11:25 left in the game, 36-28, when sophomore Brittney Richardson nailed a three-pointer two feet past the regulation 19 feet nine inches.The Wildcats took their first lead of the second-half, 24-23, with 17:47 to play after a three-point basket by Brittany Orban. Shortly after, Brereton picked the pocket of Amy Jaeschke, which led to a bucket by Jones. The basket ignited Jones as she directed five straight points for the Razorbacks as they took a 28-24 lead.Stellar first-half defense and rebounding allowed the Razorbacks to take an, 21-19, advantage at the half thanks to four steals and seven rebounds by Ricketts. Arkansas forced 25 Wildcat turnovers for the game, while outrebounding them 39-38.Ford paced Arkansas scoring in the first half with eight points off the bench, while connecting 2-for-2 from three-point range.The Razorbacks shot 33.3% from the field and 7-for-17 from three-point territory.Northwestern jumped out to a 2-0 lead to begin the game before the Razorbacks went on an 8-0 run, as their excellent defensive play held the Wildcats to 0-9 from the field during the run.For the game, Arkansas held NU’s All-Big Ten center Jaeschke to only two field goal attempts in the first half and her second lowest game of her career with only five points. Jaeschke did lead all rebounders with 13.“We did our best to shut her down,” Jones said of her counterpart Jaeschke. “We wanted to keep someone in front of her and behind her the whole night.”“We rolled the dice on the perimeter not being able to score,” Collen said. “We did it and it worked. We’re 4-0 right now, and we’re 4-0 with our defense. Kudos to our defensive coordinator (associate head coach) Tim Eatman. He made the adjustments at half, and he came up with the game plan on only one day’s prep.”The Razorbacks will be back in action at the Junkanoo Jam in Grand Bahama Island on Nov. 28-29. Arkansas will take on Oregon State beginning at 4:40 p.m. on Nov. 28. For live stats stay tuned to ARKANSASRAZORBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Basketball (W)