With @RazorbackWBB in Knoxville today preparing for a big road test against Tennessee on Thursday, we look back on an instant class, overtime thriller that took place between the two programs at Thompson-Boling Arena just two seasons ago.
The road upset remains the last time the Razorbacks defeated a ranked team on the road and also marked the first and only win for Arkansas at Thompson-Boling Arena.
#SundayStats: Last time @RazorbackWBB def a ranked team on road: 72-71 OT win at #6/7 Tennessee. They’ll meet again Thursday in Knoxville.
– RazorbackWBB (@RazorbackWBB) January 27, 2014
Razorbacks Win OT Thriller Over No. 9/11 Tennessee In Knoxville
Former Razorback Sarah Watkins&hit a layup with eight seconds on the clock forcing overtime with the game tied at 62, and former Lyndsay Harris hit two in overtime giving the University of Arkansas a 72-71 win in overtime over No. 9/11 Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn., Thursday.
This year’s Razorbacks hope to recreate that magic as they prepare for a matchup with the No. 11/12 Lady Vols on Thursday. The game airs live on FOX Sports South and ESPN3.com (subject to blackout).
The victory in 2012 is the only win for the Razorbacks in Knoxville and Arkansas had to hit the final four points while holding Tennessee scoreless late for the win.
Harris paced Arkansas with 20 points and Watkins had 18. Then-senior C’eira Ricketts aped 16 in the win.Arkansas’ first half effort was fantastic and they played themselves to a 31-26 lead at the break. Harris had 11 points to lead all scorers in the first 20 minutes but Arkansas’ aggressive play racked up nine fouls. The Razorbacks shot 57.9 percent in the first half hitting 11-of-19 shots and the Razorbacks did a good job defensively, holding Tennessee to 9-for-20 from the floor and forcing 10 Lady Vol turnovers.Tennessee came out much more aggressive defensively in the second half and outscored Arkansas 36-31 in the second half but Watkins layup allowed Arkansas to hold on to the tie and force the extra period.The Razorbacks finished the game hitting 25-for-50 from the floor and eight three pointers.& The win is Arkansas fourth of the season over a ranked opponent.
This is a new team for Arkansas with only junior Calli Berna and senior Keira Peak remaining from that historic win. Berna played just 22 minutes in that contest going 2-for-2 with five points and one assist. Peak scored two points and had four rebounds in 28 minutes in 2012.
This year, those role players will be counted on as team leaders as they take the young Razorback team into the hostile Knoxville environment. Freshman Jessica Jackson will be a key element in the Razorbacks’ fate this week. Jackson leads the team with 16.7 points per game and 6.0 rebounds per game.
Peak follows with 10.4 ppg and junior post Jhasmin Bowen with 10.1 ppg and 5.5 rpg. Bowen is tough in the post position and will need to rebound well against the Lady Vols. Peak is one of the best on-ball defenders in the SEC and she will have her hands full with the fast Tennessee guards.
Like Peak, Berna is not the same player from two seasons ago. The SEC leader in assists and assist/turnover ratio, Berna runs the point like a pro as a junior and knows how to get her teammates the ball.
Throw freshman starter McKenzie Adams into the mix and Arkansas becomes a hard team to guard. Adams can hit the three-pointer or step in and drive to get to the free-throw line. Sophomore Melissa Wolff has proven in recent games to be a big-time rebounder and solid scorer. The same can be said for freshman Kelsey Brooks, who handles the ball well and ranks among the team leaders from the free-throw line shooting 73.7 percent.
The rest of the team, Bria Pitts, Ana-Carlota Faussurier, Joey Bailey and Khadijah West, are role players, but those positions could be key for Arkansas to get a win. Bench scoring and good minutes from whatever combination of players on the court will be necessary to hold off a powerhouse like the Lady Vols.
> More of a visual person? Check out the highlghts for the Arkansas’ 2012 upset of Tennessee:
Arkansas and No. 10 Tennessee face off again 6 p.m. Thursday at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn.