HONOLULU, Hawai’i – University of Arkansas junior Keira Peak dropped in 30 points but the Razorbacks fell just short against No. 13 Oklahoma in Honolulu, Hawai’i, Friday at the Marriott Waikiki Beach Classic.
Arkansas (3-1) suffered through a 15-0 Sooner (3-1) run in the first half falling 73-70 Friday.
"We battled back and fought hard but just came up a bit short," Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. "I’m so proud of the way this team battled back and stayed together, especially down the stretch."
Peak posted a career-best 30 points behind a 12-for-19 night that included four three pointers and a 2-for-2 night from the line.
The Razorbacks, however, struggled offensively, especially in the first half. The Razorbacks finished shooting 35 percent on 23-for-66 from the floor but Arkansas hit just five threes on the night and shot only 23 percent in the first half.
"This is a tough game to drop but it is a great learning experience," Collen said. "We have to be more balanced take care of the ball down the stretch."
Arkansas trailed 26-19 at the break after allowing OU the 15-0 run in the mid to late first half. The second half started with a steal and layup by sophomore Calli Berna. The Fayetteville, Ark., native finished with 16 points and four rebounds.
Peak then hit for a short jumper and Berna was fouled making both bonus shots. The free throws closed the OU lead to three, 28-25, and Arkansas was back in business.
Arkansas would play OU close throughout the second half and eventually tied the game at 28 with 12:54 to play. The Razorbacks even managed to lead a couple of times late but the inside game of the Sooners was tough for Arkansas to match up with.
The Razorbacks were a point away, 61-60, with less than three minutes to play but game-long foul troubles became a factor when senior Sarah Watkins fouled out. Arkansas was never able to regain the lead.
One of the keys for the Razorbacks early in the season has been the team’s balance but the Razorbacks struggled Friday with only two players, Peak and Berna, in double figures. The Razorbacks also lost the rebounding battle, 40-32, and allowed 42 points in the paint to the Sooners.
The Razorbacks return to the floor Saturday taking on host Hawai’i, followed by the tournament’s final game against Oregon on Sunday.