PISCATAWAY, N.J. – University of Arkansas sophomore Devin Cosper scored 11 points for the second consecutive game and the Razorbacks held Rutgers below its season scoring average but it wasn’t enough as they fell, 40-60, on Sunday.
The loss drops Arkansas to 2-6 on the year while Rutgers moves to 6-3 overall. Cosper hit 3-of-7 from the floor including one from distance and went 4-for-4 from the line. She added four rebounds, two assists and two steals in the game. Freshman Briunna Freeman led Arkansas with seven rebounds and senior Melissa Wolff added six.
Arkansas opened the game and forced four consecutive scoreless possessions by Rutgers. That allowed the Razorbacks to jump out to a 5-0 lead early. Both teams suffered through long scoring draughts of more than two and a half minutes but it was Rutgers who would heat up at the end of the frame taking a 12-7 lead into the break.
The Razorbacks shot just 20% in the first 10 minutes on 3-for-15 shooting but they forced five Scarlet Knight turnovers and matched them on the boards with eight rebounds.
Rutgers opened the second period on a 4-0 run and prompted an Arkansas timeout as the Razorbacks were cold from the floor. Despite the speed of the Arkansas’ guards, the Razorbacks tried to slow the pace of the game to take Rutgers out of their comfort zone. That strategy worked for a while until the Razorback turnovers led to fast break chances for the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers made just about everything inside of 15 foot and the Razorbacks could not find a defensive answer in the second 10 minutes. A 10-0 run – all in transition – put Arkansas in a hole trailing 33-20 at the half. Cosper paced Arkansas with nine points through the first 20 minutes but Rutgers shot 65.2 % on 15-for-23 from the floor and that was the difference in the contest.
Arkansas played well defensively in the third frame holding Rutgers to just nine points on 4 made baskets. Turnovers, however, prevented the Razorbacks from closing the gap as they scored just eight points in the period. Cosper reached double figures in the third stanza with 11 heading into the last 10 minutes of play.
Arkansas did a good job defensively again in the final frame but early deficit was too much to overcome. Arkansas hit six of its 13 shots in the second half but shot just 25% for the game. Cosper finished with 11 going 3-for-7 from the floor and 4-for-4 from the line.
Arkansas did a good job on the boards nearly matching RU with a 30-32 effort. Both teams committed 11 turnovers and the Razorbacks held Rutgers without a basket for the final 2:07 of the game.
• Starters: Arkansas: Keiryn Swenson, Devin Cosper, Jordan Danberry, Melissa Wolff, Alecia Cooley.
o Rutgers: Rachel Hohllivay, Kehleah Copper, Tyler Scaife, Briyona Canty, Ariel Butts
• Junior Khadijah West was the first player off the bench for Arkansas with just under three to play in the frame
• Arkansas opened the game on a 5-0 run
• Keiryn Swenson got her first start of the season at Rutgers
• Sophomore Devin Cosper was in double figures for the second consecutive game (11 vs. Missouri State)
• Dec. 10 Oral Roberts | 8 p.m.
• Dec. 13 at Butler | 1 p.m.
• Dec. 20 vs. Texas | 1:30 p.m.
• Dec. 28 vs. Mississippi Valley State | 7 p.m.
• Dec. 30 vs. New Orleans | 7 p.m.
For more information on Arkansas women’s basketball, follow @RazorbackWBB on Twitter.