COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of Arkansas women’s basketball team held the No. 2 team in the country to just nine first quarter points and was tied with South Carolina after the first 10 minutes of play in the Southeastern Conference opener in Columbia, South Carolina, Sunday.
Arkansas (5-9, 0-1 SEC) struggled to defend the three by the Gamecocks (13-0, 1-0 SEC) and lost the game 85-32. Jessica Jackson finished the day with nine points and four rebounds while senior Melissa Wolff scored nine and had a team-best seven rebounds.
Arkansas was solid defensively to start the game holding South Carolina to a 2-for-8 stretch in the first period.
After a great start in the first frame in which Arkansas matched the Gamecocks point-for-point, South Carolina came out in the second period hitting three consecutive three-pointers grabbing the lead. That was coupled with back-to-back turnovers that prompted a Razorback timeout trailing 22-12 with 6:22 to go in the half.
Jackson didn’t start the second period after two quick fouls late in the first 10 minutes of play.
Arkansas switched defenses in an attempt to guard both the inside and outside shots but Carolina’s size was a challenge at every position. The Razorbacks suffered through back-to-back scoring droughts of more than three minutes each as the Gamecocks’ lead grew.
Carolina’s three-point barrage saw the Gamecocks outscore Arkansas 35-9 in the second period as they took a 44-18 lead into the locker room at the half. Wolff led Arkansas with eight points and had four boards at the break and Jackson added five points. Both players had two fouls before the half.
South Carolina, not known as a three-point shooting team, opened the third period with back-to-back treys while Arkansas struggled to find its offense in the final two stanzas. South Carolina entered the game shooting 32 percent from long range and finished the game shooting nearly 50 percent from three-point range in the win.
Arkansas and South Carolina have met 32 times, all since both teams joined the SEC. Arkansas leads the series 17-15 but the Gamecocks have won the last seven meetings between these programs. Arkansas fell to South Carolina twice last year, first in the regular season and again in the third round of the SEC Tournament in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
• Arkansas starters: Jessica Jackson, Malica Monk, Devin Cosper, Melissa Wolff, Alecia Cooley
• Arkansas and South Carolina were tied after the first period at 9-all
• Arkansas is 1-2 all-time against the #2 team in the Associated Press poll
• Arkansas 32 points is the lowest point total for the Razorbacks in an SEC game
• The 53-point deficit is the largest margin of loss in an SEC game in program history
• Arkansas has been even with or out-rebounded 10 of 14 opponents this year
• Arkansas has held 11 of 14 opponents at or below their current scoring average
• Arkansas has won the turnover battle in nine games this year
• Arkansas is the fourth youngest team in the country and the youngest team in the SEC in terms of returning scholarship players under the current head coach
• Junior Jessica Jackson has scored in double figures in 11 of the 13 games she has played in this season
• Sophomore Devin Cosper has scored in double figures in six games this year including six of her last eight games
• Jan. 7 host No. 16/13 Texas A&M at 7 p.m.
• Jan. 10 at No, 8/8 Mississippi State at 2 p.m.
• Jan. 14 vs. No. 13/16 Tennessee at 8 p.m.
• Jan. 17 vs. No. 23/RV Missouri at 2 p.m.
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