FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas women’s basketball team used a 14-0 run and held Lamar scoreless for more than seven minutes in the first half en route to a 91-65 win in the first round of the WNIT Tournament in Bud Walton Arena Thursday.
The Razorbacks (20-11) move on to face Missouri State (24-10) Sunday at 2 p.m. in second round action.
"It was nice to see us put the ball in the basket," Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. "We jumped out to a good lead, extended it and kept playing hard. We played hard and had a lot of fun and that’s nice to see."
Sophomore Sarah Watkins was well on the way to a double-double with 15 points and seven rebounds in the first half leading Arkansas to a 51.5 shooting percentage on a 17-for-33 performance. Watkins finished with a career-best 25 points and 14 rebounds getting her sixth double-double of the year.
"Shots were just falling for me," Watkins said. "That’s not always the case but tonight it just felt right."
Arkansas and Lamar traded baskets after quick play in the opening minutes finally tying the game at six.
From there, the Razorbacks went on a 21-3 run with three-pointers from Watkins, C’eria Ricketts and back-to-back long distance shots from sophomore Quistelle Williams.
Williams also had a career-best with 16 points and five boards. Ricketts finished the night with 20 points in 29 minutes and she led the team with seven assists.
"Our defense was good tonight," Ricketts noted. "We really wanted to play defense and let that spark the offense. We were able to push the ball out in transition and get some good looks early."
Leading 27-9, Arkansas could have put the half on cruise control but the Razorbacks continued to hustle forcing seven first-half Cardinal turnovers and grabbing two steals. Arkansas had five first half blocks, three from Watkins.
Lamar managed a 13-0 second half run but Watkins put a stop to that after she was fouled at the 10:16 mark in the second frame. It was all Arkansas after that.
The Razorbacks lead by as many as 31 points, scored a season-best 91 points and had a season-best 59 rebounds. Watkins grabbed seven offensive and seven defense boards while junior Ashley Daniels had 13 rebounds. Daniels also had a double-double with 11 points to go along with her rebounding efforts. Freshman Chrisstasia Walter dropped in 10 pints and hit two threes in the win for Arkansas.
For the game, Arkansas shot 47.3 percent on 35-for-74 shooting. Arkansas was 13-for-26 from three point range and held Lamar (25-8) to 35 percent from the floor.
Download: Lamar vs Arkansas Quotes.pdf