FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas senior Jessica Jackson scored 24 points and the Razorbacks nearly erased two double-digit deficits but they were unable to complete the comeback falling to Kentucky, 69-62, in Bud Walton Arena on Thursday.
Jackson led all scorers with 24 points on 10-of-20 shooting for her team-leading 20th double-digit scoring game and sixth 20-point game this season. Jailyn Mason joined her in double figures with 11 points, and Bailey Zimmerman added nine points, all from 3-point range.
Taylor Murray led four players in double figures for Kentucky (18-8, 9-4 SEC) with 16 points, to go along with eight rebounds, six steals and five assists. She was joined in double figures by Makayla Epps (14 points), Maci Morris (13 points) and Evelyn Akhator, who finished with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Trailing 31-20 at halftime, Arkansas (13-13, 2-11 SEC) used runs of 7-0 and 7-2 as part of a third quarter that saw the Razorbacks outscore the Wildcats by a 21-17 margin. Arkansas pulled to within one, 40-39, on a 3-pointer by Jackson with 2:34 left in the quarter.
Kentucky ended the quarter on an 8-2 run to lead 48-41 heading into the fourth stanza. Kentucky would push the lead back to 11, before Arkansas came back with a 9-0 run to make it a 55-53 game midway through the final frame. Kentucky dealt a decisive blow in the final minutes with a 9-0 run to lead 66-55 with 1:45 left in the game.
The Razorbacks shot 45% in the game going 27-for-60. It is the ninth time this season Arkansas has shot 45% or better. That mark included a 7-for-13 performance from distance. Arkansas outrebounded Kentucky, 35-32, and had seven steals in the game.
• Kentucky held Arkansas to four second-quarter points, its fewest points scored in any quarter in any game this season. Arkansas was 2-of-12 from the floor and committed seven turnovers in the quarter.
• Jessica Jackson scored in double figures in the first half for a team-leading seventh time this season. She had 10 points in the first half and finished with a game-high 24 points.
• Jailyn Mason scored in double figures for the third straight game and the 10th time overall this season, tied for the third-most on the team.
• Bailey Zimmerman tied her career high for 3-pointers made in a game, going 3-of-5 from 3-point range and 3-of-9 overall from the floor for nine points.
• Arkansas limited Makayla Epps, Kentucky’s leading scorer and the SEC’s fourth-leading scorer, to 14 points on 4-of-17 shooting in 40 minutes of action. She entered the game averaging 17.2 points per game.
• Arkansas shot 45.0 percent from the floor, its ninth game to shoot 45 percent or better this season. Arkansas shot 45 percent or better twice all of last season (30 games) and six times all of 2014-15 (32 games).
• Arkansas outrebounded Kentucky 35-32. It was the 16th time in 26 games that Arkansas won the rebounding battle and just the fourth time that Arkansas lost when winning the rebounding battle.
• Arkansas is 28-17 in home games under head coach Jimmy Dykes. That mark includes a 9-7 record this season and a 11-12 record in conference home games. Arkansas is 1-6 in conference home games this season.
Quotable – From Coach Jimmy Dykes
“We couldn’t get a stop and a basket. We talk a lot of times during the game about needing back-to-back stops and back-to-back baskets. We could never quite do it there at the end. We got it down to two and we had a lot of good things for us, and then we turn it over two times in a row. Those are things you can’t do.”
Arkansas travels to Tennessee on Feb. 19 and Vanderbilt on Feb. 23 for its final two regular-season road games, before returning home for Senior Day against Auburn on Feb. 26. The SEC Tournament begins March 1 in Greenville, South Carolina.
To order tickets for the 2016-17 season call the Razorback Ticket Center at 800-982-HOGS (4647) or 479-575-5151.
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blow in the final minutes with a 9-0 run to lead 66-55 with 1:45 left in the game.