FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas junior Lyndsay Harris tied her career-best with 26 points including eight three pointers leading the Razorbacks in a valiant effort against Georgia in Bud Walton Arena Thursday.
Arkansas (14-2, 2-2 SEC) battled back from a 10-point halftime deficit and a 14 rebound differential but came up just short, 59-56, to Georgia (13-3, 3-0 SEC).
Georgia led by as many as 12 in the first half when cold shooting by Arkansas coupled with a change in the lineup, foul trouble and great rebounding by the Bulldogs stalled the Razorbacks.
Down by 10 to start the half, 32-22, Georgia scored first but Harris hit her first three of the period at the 17:57 mark. She would make three in a row pulling Arkansas within three and finished tying the Arkansas record for threes in a half with six.
"I was rushing and forcing stuff in the first half," Harris said. "I didn’t do what I normally do. My teammates told me to calm down and just shoot it. They had confidence in me and it helped to settle me down in the second half."
The teams traded baskets when Harris got number four of the half tying the game at 40-all. The change in momentum and energy was tangible in the arena as it was now Georgia’s turn to be rattled.
Arkansas and Georgia both seemed to have a fresh start after the time and the remainder of the game would stay close. The Bulldogs managed a seven-point lead, 53-46, with 5:06 left on the clock, but the Razorbacks wouldn’t fade.
Sophomore Sarah Watkins got on the board and did junior Jamesha Townsend as the Bulldogs tried to shut down Harris.
Arkansas took a one-point lead on a layup from Ricketts with 2:41 left to play but Georgia regained the lead with a layup at the other end.
Down one, Watkins grabbed her only rebound of the game, spun and got the put-back as Arkansas surged ahead by a point with the clock winding down.
The teams burned timeouts and Georgia would in-bound the ball under the Arkansas basket. The Bulldogs drove the length of the floor and got a clutch basket from a freshman that was the difference in the final score.
"I’m disappointed to lose but I have to give my team a lot of credit," Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. "We were in a jam and playing with a lineup that’s never been on the floor together before. We stayed poised and worked hard out of halftime."
The Razorbacks were without the services of junior post and the team’s leading rebounder Ashley Daniels who was injured in a road game at Mississippi State last week. In addition, Arkansas found themselves with five players with two fouls each as the first half closed.
In addition, Georgia dominated the rebounding, 47-33, in their winning effort.
Harris led all scorers with 26 points and was 8-for-13 from beyond the arc. Watkins finished with 12 points and junior C’eira Ricketts scored seven and had a team-leading eight rebounds.