FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. —University of Arkansas senior Charity Ford had a career-best 26 points but it wasn’t enough to lift the Razorbacks to victory in Bud Walton Arena Thursday.
Arkansas (8-9, 0-4 SEC) fell to Mississippi State (12-5, 3-1 SEC), 78-60 as the Razorbacks dropped their fourth consecutive Southeastern Conference game of the year.
Ford’s 26 lead all scorers while teammate sophomore Lyndsay Harris added 12 for Arkansas. They were the only two players in double figures for Arkansas.
“I’ve been doing some extra shooting on my own and it paid off tonight,” Ford said. “Our defense still needs to get better though. We came into this game with the mentality of getting a win. We had a good game plan and everything was in place for us to execute but it didn’t fall our way.”
“The one thing you can count on with Charity is that she brings intensity and effort to every game,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “She’s a senior and stepped up tonight.”
The first half was a methodical, low-scoring affair with Ford accounting for 14 of Arkansas’ 20 points at the break. The game opened with an 8-0 start for State before Arkansas got on the board with a free throw.
Ford then hit the first field goal for Arkansas at the 14:49 mark of the first period. The next Razorback field goal would wait until 11:27 when Ford hit her second, a three-pointer.
After 18 minutes of close scores, Arkansas gave up a bit of a run to Mississippi State just before the break going into the half down, 20-26.
The second half began with a flurry of scoring as Mississippi State opened 3-for-4 and Arkansas 4-for-5 but the Bulldogs stepped up with a 5-for-5 performance from three-point range to start the frame stretching the lead to double digits for the first time.
Once down, Arkansas had trouble playing from behind as the Bulldogs’ outside shooting began to open up the points in the paint as well.
Arkansas finished the game shooting 30.5 percent with an 18-for-59 night. The Razorbacks hit five three-pointers, four from Ford and one from Harris. Arkansas out-rebounded MSU, 42-37 but gave up 24 points in the paint and 24 points off turnovers in the loss.
Sophomores Ashley Daniels and Jamesha Townsend had seven rebounds each and freshman Dominique Robinson was 6-for-7 from the line.
"Our defense wasn’t good in the first half,” Collen said, “but they missed some shots. State stepped up in the second half and we just didn’t respond to that. We can’t give up those big runs to opponents. This team wants to win and they keep fighting hard.”
The Bulldogs opened the second half with a 23-10 run that saw four players finish in double figures. Chanel Mokango led the effort with 19 followed by 16 from Mary Kathryn Govero and 15 each from Alexis Rack and Armelie Lamanu. Two players, Mokango and Lumanu, finished with double-doubles. They finished the game shooting 42.9 percent after a 27.8 percent start in the first half.
Arkansas remains home hosting No. 6 Georgia Sunday, Jan. 17, at 2 p.m. Please call the Razorback Ticket Center or log on for more ticket information.