STARKVILLE, Miss. – Jessica Jackson and Jordan Danberry scored in double figures while Melissa Wolff grabbed double-digit rebounds but it wasn’t enough to lift the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team over No. 7 Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss. on Sunday. Arkansas lost the game 80-55 and returns home Thursday hosting nationally-ranked Tennessee at 8 p.m.
Arkansas opened the game knowing defense would be key and switch between player-to-player and a 2-3 zone. It worked well in the first quarter and the period belonged to Jackson and Khadijah West. Jackson had nine points and West two big boards and seven minutes of good defense. State put together a 6-0 run after the media timeout taking a 17-11 lead but Arkansas responded going 6-for-8 pulling within a basket, 19-17, after the first 10 minutes.
The Razorbacks battled the turnover bug in the second period allowing Mississippi State an 11-0 run putting Arkansas behind by double figures. The Razorbacks rallied back and Jackson had 13 points at the half but Arkansas trailed State by 10 after 20 minutes of play.
Arkansas shot 50% in the first half on 13-for-26 from the floor and had out-rebounded the Bulldogs 17-16 but State was tough from distance, hitting five treys in the first half.
Arkansas played the Bulldogs close in the third period, 15-11, using an 8-0 run in the middle of the frame. The Razorbacks were as close as eight trailing 48-40, but the Bulldogs managed an 8-0 of their own to stretch the lead in their favor.
Turnovers and fouls continued to plague Arkansas as the game wore on. Mississippi State took advantage of the miscues hitting three big three-pointers and Arkansas couldn’t recover from the deficit.
Arkansas finished the game shooting 42.3 % and was just shy of matching State for rebounds 35-32. The Razorbacks struggled to get to the line going 10-for-14 while sending the Bulldogs to the foul stripe 26 times where they converted 20 shots. State also hit eight three pointers holding Arkansas to just one in the game.
• Arkansas Starters: Jessica Jackson, Malica Monk, Melissa Wolff, Alecia Cooley and Devin Cosper
• Arkansas shot 50% in the first half going 13-for-26 from the floor
• Arkansas has won the turnover battle in 10 games this year but committed more TO than Mississippi State Sunday, 23-14
• Arkansas was out-rebounded 35-32
• Arkansas committed 25 fouls and Miss State was 20-for-25 from the charity line
• Arkansas is the fifth youngest team in terms of returning scholarship players under the current head coach
• Junior Jessica Jackson has scored in double figures in 13 of the 15 games she has played in this season
o Jackson had 13 points at the break
o Jackson finished with 20 points – the sixth 20+ point game this year and the 16th of her career
• Melissa Wolff had double figure rebounds for the fifth time this year finishing with 10 boards
• Jordan Danberry scored 10 points and was in double figures for the fourth time this season
• Arkansas opens the SEC season facing five ranked teams in the Associated Press Poll
• Jan. 14 Tennessee 8 p.m.
• Jan. 17 Missouri (We Back Pat) 2 p.m.
• Jan. 21 at LSU 7 p.m.
• Jan. 24 at Auburn 3 p.m.
• Jan. 28 Florida 7 p.m.
• Jan. 31 Mississippi State 2 p.m.
For more information on Arkansas women’s basketball, follow @RazorbackWBB on Twitter.