EL PASO, Texas – Graduate student Devin Cosper had her second consecutive career-best scoring night with 22 points but the University of Arkansas’ furious comeback fell short with a 64-61 loss at UTEP on Friday at the UTEP Classic in El Paso, Texas.
The Razorbacks (3-2) trailed by as much as 20 points and entered the fourth quarter down 18 points, 52-36. Cosper’s offense heated up with 11 points in the frame as she paced the Razorbacks within one, 62-61, with 38 seconds remaining in the contest.
The Miners (3-0) had possession and used up the shot clock hitting a contested jumper as the buzzer sounded, leaving Arkansas with just eight seconds to complete the comeback. The Razorbacks had a good look at a 3-pointer that rimmed out as time expired.
A cold start to the game saw Arkansas trail by double figures at the end of the first period. The Razorbacks opened 0-for-15, scoring only three points from the free throw line in the first 10 minutes.
Monk sparked a good start to the second quarter scoring five quick points but UTEP rallied to go 9-for-15 in the frame stretching the lead to 18, 38-20, at the half. The bright spot for the Razorbacks was freshman Macy Weaver who come off the bench with some much-needed defense against the Miners’ top-scorer.
Weaver continued to play well defensively holding UTEP’s leading scorer to just five points in the second half. Weaver scored two points, had three rebounds and four blocked shots in 19 minutes – her longest action of the season.
Monk also finished strong with 10 points and five assists. Both Monk and Cosper have scored in double figures in each of Arkansas first five games this season.
• Arkansas was 0-for-15 in the first quarter. The Razorbacks’ only points came from the free throw line.
• The loss moves Arkansas to 23-9 on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
• Arkansas is 99-45 in mid-season tournaments.
• Devin Cosper reached double figures in the third quarter. It is her fifth consecutive game with double digit points and her third consecutive game with 20+ points.
• Malica Monk scored 10 points, her fifth consecutive double-figure game.
• Arkansas forced a season-high 23 UTEP turnovers. It is the fifth consecutive game the Razorbacks have forced double figure turnovers.
• Arkansas scored 22 points off turnovers.
• Arkansas committed just four turnovers. It is the fourth game this year in single digit miscues.
The Razorbacks continue UTEP Classic action taking on New Mexico State at noon on Saturday. Arkansas returns home hosting Abilene Christian on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Bud Walton Arena. The Aggies are 2-3 on the year after an upset by Texas State in game one of the tournament.
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