FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Behind 21 points from sophomore Kelsey Brooks and a career-high 15 points from freshman McKinley Bostad, the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team snapped its four-game losing streak by defeating the Missouri Tigers 73-55. In front of an announced crowd of 4,299 at Bud Walton Arena Sunday afternoon, the second-largest home crowd in three seasons, head coach Jimmy Dykes earned his first Southeastern Conference victory. The Razorbacks led by as many as 22 in the second-half.
Arkansas improves to 11-6 overall and 1-4 in SEC play. Missouri drops to 11-8 and 1-5 in conference.
Bostad earned her first career start and certainly was able to deliver, finishing with 15 points including 10 in the first half. The Kennedale, Texas, native was efficient in her scoring as well, making 4-of-7 shots – all from behind the arc – and going 3-for-5 at the line.
Bostad’s 10 first-half points were crucial as Arkansas built up a 38-22 lead going into the locker room. Arkansas was lights out from behind the arc in the opening 20 minutes, making seven on 13 attempts. The Razorbacks also used a pair of 9-2 runs in the half to help extend the advantage.
While Bostad carried much of the load in the first half, Brooks picked up where she left off in the second half. Brooks finished with 17 second-half points and 21 overall. She nearly missed a double-double as she hauled in nine rebounds and also had four assists.
Brooks also made 11-of-12 from the free throw line, helping to put the game away when Missouri cut the lead down to 10 with 4:30 left to play. As a team, Arkansas was 23-30 (.767) from the stripe.
Senior Jhasmin Bowen was the third Razorback in double figures, scoring 12 and grabbing nine rebounds. Bowen and Brooks were key on the glass, as Arkansas held a 48-32 edge on the backboards. Sixteen offensive rebounds also led to 20 second-chance points for the Razorbacks.
Sophomore Jessica Jackson came off the bench for the second-straight game and chipped in eight points and six rebounds.
Senior Calli Berna played a terrific all-around game, scoring nine points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out four assists. She also stepped up defensively, holding Missouri’s prolific three-point shooter Morgan Eye – who is nearing the NCAA all-time record for career threes made – to five points on 2-of-6 shooting.
As a team, Missouri entered Sunday’s contest averaging nearly eight made threes a game. The Tigers did make five on Arkansas’ defense, but it took 24 shots to get there.
The Razorbacks finished the game shooting 37.5 percent from the field, compared to 33 percent for Missouri.
Arkansas will take to the road for its next two games, traveling to Vanderbilt Jan. 22 and Florida Jan. 25.
“I’m very pleased with the win. I wasn’t happy that we were 0-4. I told my team before the game that we are 0-0 and we can only control our next 12. I thought the crowd today was phenomenal, 4300 people, and they helped us a lot with their energy at times. I just hope that they keep hanging in there with us as we build this program and we are very, very appreciative of all the fans.
Bostad was terrific. She knocked down shots all week long. She shoots more than any player I have outside of practice and great players and shooters have to be like that. It would be hard to find a tougher kid in college basketball right not than Bostad. “
POST GAME NOTES
POST GAME NOTES
– Freshman McKinley Bostad started her first career game today. She tallied career-highs in points (15) and minutes (33).
– Arkansas made seven three-pointers in the first half, tying the most for any half in a game this season (seven in second half vs. Northwestern State, Nov. 23, 2014)
– Arkansas outrebounded Missouri 48-32, the 13th time this season the Razorbacks have outrebounded their opponent.
– Sophomore Kelsey Brooks finished with 21 points, the fourth time this season she’s surpassed the 20-point plateau. It was also the 10th time she’s led the team in scoring this season
– Arkansas finished with three players scoring in double figures (Brooks 21, Bostad 15, Bowen 12).
– Arkansas used its third different starting lineup of the season, starting Wolff, Brooks, Berna, Bowen and Bostad.