ATHENS, Ga. – Junior Lauren Ervin pulled in her 11th double-double of the season but it wasn’t enough for the University of Arkansas as the Lady Razorbacks fell 69-51 to the 11th-ranked Georgia Lady Bulldogs on the final weekend of Southeastern Conference women’s basketball.
Arkansas, 18-12, opens the SEC Tournament next Thursday afternoon in nearby Duluth, Ga., against Kentucky. If the Lady’Backs win, they will face a rematch with Georgia, 24-5, who locked up the second seed with the victory today.
“It’s time for us to go back home and get ready for the tournament,” UA head coach Susie Gardner said. “Anything can happen at the tournament, and that begins on Monday.”
Ervin finished the game with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Cori Chambers led Georgia with 17.
The Lady’Backs got a fast start in the contest, but could not hold off a Georgia comeback.
“We got off to a great start, and we couldn’t ask for more in the first part of the game,” Gardner said. “We knew they would make a run, but we didn’t respond.”
The teams played dueling shooting guards as Lady’Back senior Dominique Washington reeled off 11 straight in the first half to build Arkansas’ early lead. Freshman Ashley Houts had the deciding shooting spree with her eight-point outburst that pushed UGA to its first double-digit lead of the game.
Leading by three at half, Georgia broke the game open with 16-4 run to begin the second half. Houts scored back-to-back three-pointers in the middle of the run then added a running jumper for her 8-0.
“We went in down at half and we were a little down, but to start off the second half we didn’t take that next step.” Gardner said. “We’ve got to give a little more effort.”
The Lady Bulldogs kept their double-digit lead most of the second half, but a slow-motion comeback allowed Arkansas to cut the Georgia lead to nine twice in the final five minutes.
Georgia opened the game 1-of-11 from the field as the Arkansas defense frustrated the Lady Bulldogs for the opening 10 minutes of the game.
A 15-3 run by Arkansas led by 11 straight points from Washington gave the Lady’Backs a 17-6 lead with 12:04 left in the first half.
Keeping Georgia without a field goal for almost seven minutes, Arkansas maintained the lead until four minutes left in the first half. A 9-0 run by Georgia capped by a driving layup from Christy Marshall put UGA up by one, 24-23.
Arkansas stayed close, but trailed at halftime, 30-27. Arkansas shot 44% from the field, but could not find much offense beyond Washington in the first half.
Washington also finish with 14 points for Arkansas. Georgia received double-digit scoring from Houts with 15 and Humphrey with 11.