Jump to ETSU box score
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Solid nights from freshmen Sarah Watkins and Dominique Robinson paced the University of Arkansas to a home opener win over East Tennessee State in Bud Walton Arena Sunday.
Arkansas (2-1) notched the 95-78 win over ETSU (1-2) with a17-point night from Robinson. The freshman from Baton Rouge, La., poured in five three-pointers — one more than the Razorbacks had as a team coming into the game. She had seven rebounds and a pair of assists to go with her points.
Watkins was a rebound away from a double-double with 14 points and nine boards for Arkansas. She was 6-of-9 from the floor with a three-pointer.
“I’m pleased to get the win,” Razorback head coach Tom Collen said. “We had some ups and downs but we played with more confidence in the second half to put together a pretty good offensive night. This team has a lot of potential and I really like who we could become.
Sunday’s game was a tale of two speeds. Both teams wanted to run and the track meet was on from the opening tip. But foul trouble for both squads put the brakes on and slowed the pace and rhythm on both sides of the ball.
ETSU opened the game scoring six quick points for a 6-1 lead but Arkansas chipped away to tie the contest at 11-all with 15:11 to play in the first frame.
The Razorbacks then grabbed the lead going up by as many as 12, 30-18, but ETSU would not go away. The Lady Bucs got 20 first-half points from senior TaRonda Wiles as they took a 40-38 lead with a pair of free throws as time ran out.
The first half was marred by fouls with 15 for Arkansas and 11 for ETSU as neither team was able to settle into a rhythm. Arkansas led by as many as 12 near the mid-point of the first frame but a couple quick threes by the Lady Bucs closed the gap and changed the momentum of the game.
The second half began with an Ashley Daniels layup that tied the game at 40. It was Arkansas’ turn to grab the lead and a three-pointer from Watkins at the 16:40 mark spurred a scoring run for the Razorbacks in which Arkansas outscored ETSU 6-0 taking a 54-45 lead and forcing the Lady Bucs to burn a timeout with the media break just around the corner.
The timeout did little to cool the Razorback attack as Arkansas’ lead grew to nine twice, then to 19 late in the game.
Robinson’s 17 led all Arkansas scorers. Arkansas got 14 from Watkins and senior Charity Ford and 10 from Daniels. Watkins paced Arkansas with nine of its 48 boards. Robinson added seven with senior Ashley McCray and freshman Quistelle Williams pulling down five each.
Arkansas hits the road for an extended road-trip at the Caribbean Challenge in Cancun, Mexico. The Razorbacks take on Iona Nov. 26 at noon and Western Kentucky Nov. 27 at 4 p.m.