EL PASO, Texas – Dominating post play by Ashley Daniels and Sarah Watkins and pressure defense by the entire team led the University of Arkansas to an 82-63 win over High Point at the UTEP Thanksgiving Tournament in El Paso, Texas, Friday.
Daniels posted her second consecutive double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds and Watkins tied her season-best with 17 points as the Razorbacks (6-0) remain perfect on the year. They face UTEP in the championship game Saturday at 8 p.m.
"We pressed a little more than I thought we might but I’m pleased with the win," Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. "Ashley and Sarah both played terrific tonight. Ashley was all over the boards and Sarah showed us that touch and finish-that nasty attitude we’ve wanted to get out of her."
Arkansas and High Point were evenly matched for much of the first half as the teams exchanged leads six times before the Razorbacks were able to take a six-point, 40-34, advantage into the half.
Guards Lyndsay Harris and C’eira Ricketts had just three points each at the break. Daniels and Watkins, meanwhile, had 11 each keeping Arkansas in the game.
"Lyndsay and C’eira maintained their composure and focus in the second half," Collen said. "They got us back in the game."
The second half was all Arkansas as the Razorbacks opened on a 10-0 run holding High Point scoreless for nearly three minutes to start the frame. Arkansas came out with full-court pressure and stretched the run to 20-4, leading 60-38 at the 13:41 mark. Arkansas would lead by as many as 28 before finishing with the 19-point win.
Arkansas shot a season-best 54.8 percent for the game going 34-for-62 for the game. Freshman Keira Peak finished with 13, one shy of her career-best and Harris ended the night with12 as the guard play came to life in the second half.
Junior Jamesha Townsend had a season-best five points while Watkins’ 17 ties her season-best. Freshman Chrisstasia Walter added a season-best five points as did junior Julie Inman who also scored five in the win.