FAYETTEVILLE – A flurry of second half three-pointers allowed Mississippi Valley State to erase a 15-point first half deficit and give the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team a scare in Bud Walton Arena Wednesday night.
The Razorbacks (3-0) escaped with a 55-54 win over the Delta Devilettes (1-2) and head coach Tom Collen was relieved.
"It’s hard not to be disappointed in tonight’s game," Collen said. "I take responsibility for it. We kind of slept through the game. We put an awful lot of pressure on our best three-point shooter (Lyndsday Harris) and we were fortunate to get out with the win."
Arkansas got out of the blocks quickly winning the tip, scoring first and never trailing in the first frame. The Razorbacks led by as many as 15 points twice in the first half before heading to the locker room up 11, 31-20.
The Razorbacks got 15 bench points paced by six from Yasharia Delgado. Harris led the team with seven points and freshman Keira Peak had eight boards at the break.
Arkansas shot 35 percent in the first frame and out-rebounded the Devilettes 24-19. Arkansas was also able to limit its turnovers committing just six miscues while forcing 10 from MVSU.
Mississippi Valley State re-committed to its game plan in the second half and finished the game with 10 three-pointers, six from Ka’Neshia Smith, as they closed the gap to one late in the game.
Arkansas stretched the lead to seven with 3:13 to play when junior Ashley Daniels laid it in from the right side. Daniels finished with 10 points.
But back-to-back scores from MVSU closed the margin to two, 55-53 with 2:27 remaining. MVSU wound the clock down and couldn’t get a shot off turning the ball over to Arkansas. They reached out to foul Arkansas but the Devilettes were not over the limit and had to foul twice, allowing Arkansas to burn valuable time off the clock.
Arkansas was at the line with :01 on the clock and missed the bonus shot but MVSU was unable to score.
The Razorbacks shot just 35.4 percent for the game and was 22.7 percent from beyond the arc. Harris led the team with 13 points followed by Daniels’ 10. Peak finished with a career-best 12 rebounds.
Arkansas hosts Middle Tennessee State Sunday at 2 p.m. as the five game home stand continues for the Razorbacks.