GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Arkansas women’s basketball team had three players in double-digits but couldn’t overcome a sluggish first half falling, 64-53, at Florida Sunday in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
Arkansas (12-1, 0-1 SEC), ranked No. 22 and 24 in a pair of national polls, was paced by junior Lyndsay Harris with 12 points, all in the second half. Sophomore Sarah Watkins and freshman Keira Peak added 10 points each against the Gators (11-4, 1-0 SEC). Junior Ashley Daniels and Peak had seven rebounds each in the loss.
"Florida is a very good team and we knew that coming into the game," Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. "They executed their game plan well – you have to give them a lot of credit.
"But I’m equally confident that we can get back up from this," Collen continued. "This team has a lot of confidence and we’ll grow from this."
Arkansas was out to a slow start shooting and the Gators were able to open a seven-point lead but the Razorbacks battled back thanks, in part, to a three from Watkins to jump start the offense.
Arkansas scratched back within four but the Gators domination of the rebounding boards in the first half allowed Florida to stretch the lead to 16 at the break, 38-22. The Gators had a 27-15 rebounding advantage in the first frame and while holding Arkansas to 26.9 percent shooting from the floor.
Arkansas was just 1-for-6 from three-point range and 7-for-13 from the line at the break. The Razorbacks’ leading scorers, Ricketts and Harris did not have a field goal in the first half.
Arkansas won the rebounding battle in the second frame, out-boarding the Gators 18-13 and shot better for the half but the halftime lead was too much to overcome.
"The second half was much better for us," Collen said. "We talked about some adjustments at the half and I was pleased to see us come out and make those changes."
Arkansas hosts No. 11 Kentucky in the SEC home opener Thursday. Tickets are just $1. Contact the Razorback Ticket Center for more information.