HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback basketball team didn’t need the heat of Hot Springs to warm them up as they cruised to a 35-point, 75-40, victory over Nicholls State on the back of Kristin Moore’s double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds at Summit Arena on Thursday evening.
The win moves Arkansas to 5-4 on the year while Nicholls State drops to 1-6.
“I feel that the fans here really appreciate us,” Arkansas head coach Susie Gardner said. “From the media, to the hotel pesonnel and the Summit Arena staff, this is a good place for our team to play. The fans were very vocal tonight especially when we knocked down all those threes.”
With a comfortable 17-point lead at the break, Arkansas was unconcerned with trading baskets with the Colonels through the opening minutes of the half. Junior Leslie Howard started Arkansas’ aerial assault with back-to-back threes with 11 minutes to play to make it a 54-27 match. Howard would finish her first game as a Lady Razorback with 14 points, hitting four of eight from beyond the arc.
“Its been a long time,” Howard said. “I felt really good about my play in general, but I’m best at shooting. I’m not the best defender, but I want to limit my player to less than my own output.”
Susie Gardner applauded Howard’s effort saying “I thought she played really good defense.”
Continuing with its formula of aggressive defense and solid shooting, Arkansas was able to slowly increase its lead over the closing moments of the contest to 30, cruising to the finish ahead by 35.
While Moore and Howard each scored 14, it was freshman Dominique Washington that led all scores with 15 points. Nailing seven of eight from the floor and one of two from three-point land, Washington drained 11 of her total in the second half to ice the game.
The opening moments of the game were just a portion of things to come for the Lady Razorbacks as they started with a 5-0 run before allowing the Colonels their first points. Arkansas’ stellar defensive play caused Nicholls State to give up possession and force bad shots which the Lady Razorbacks were able to grab rebounds for thanks to solid defensive positioning.
A 9-4 game at the first media timeout, the Lady Razorbacks went on a 7-0 run over the next minute to open up a 12-point lead prompting Nicholls State to call a 30-second time out. Arkansas’ athleticism and aggressiveness led it to a 26-6 lead over the first 13 minutes of play. Nicholls State closed the gap slightly by the end of the half giving Arkansas a 33-16 lead at the break.
“Holding them to six points for a while was impressive,” Gardner said. “I was upset that we were a little inconsistent at times.”
Howard made her Lady Razorback debut just minutes into the contest and showed why she could be an impact player during the second half of the season as she drained a three with 13:20 left in the opening period for her first career points.
Nicholls’ Katherine Plummer led the Colonels in scoring with 13 points.
The Lady Razorbacks are back in action on Sunday afternoon when they take on the University of Texas-Pan American at Bud Walton Arena at 2:00 p.m. For more information about Lady Razorback basketball or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.