LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The University of Arkansas women’s basketball team lost its second consecutive game in the first round of the Duel in the Desert in Las Vegas, Nev., Saturday.
The Razorbacks (6-4) fell to DePaul (8-3) 46-45 after shooting just 29.3 percent for the game. Arkansas struggled through a nearly nine minute first period scoring lapse and had two three-minute droughts in the second half.
Despite the offensive woes, the Razorbacks scratched their way into the game late and had a chance to win. Arkansas trailed by six with 2:26 to play after DePaul hit a couple of free throws.
The teams would trade turnovers and timeouts winding the clock to 23 seconds when DePaul again hit a free throw taking a 46-39 lead.
The Blue Demons missed the second of a 1-and-1 and Arkansas’ Quistelle Williams grabbed the rebound. She got the outlet pass to Lyndsay Harris who drained a three.
Arkansas then fouled and got a break when DePaul missed the bonus. Senior Charity Ford ripped down the rebound and launched a pass the length of the floor to Harris who banked in another three making it 46-45 with just one second remaining in the game.
“I thought it was hard-fought game and I was proud of our kids today,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “They played good defense for 40 minutes and exhausted themselves. They played against one of the better teams in the country and did a pretty good job. We just couldn’t score with the basketball.”
Harris was a one-woman scoring machine for Arkansas in the first half. She opened the ballgame with a three and it looked as though the Razorbacks were going to get out to a fast start. The start stalled, however, as the Razorbacks entered into a nearly nine minute scoring drought and found themselves down by as many as 11 with time running out in the half.
The Razorbacks were shooting just 12 percent from the floor and had two field goals with just over four minutes to play.
The bench called for an increased defensive effort from Arkansas and Collen and his staff got it as the Razorbacks mounted a comeback behind the hot hand of Harris.
She layed up a two-point basket and hit back-to-back threes as well as three free throws leading Arkansas back to a 22-19 lead over DePaul.
Harris finished the first half with a then game-high 14 points and two rebounds. She was the only Razorback with more than two points in the first stanza.
DePaul managed the final five points of the half, leading 24-22 at the break, but Arkansas seemed to have the momentum heading into the locker room.
“She (Lyndsay) can be a scoring machine,” Collen said, “but we have more people step up and shoot the basketball. We have to get the ball inside more. They were pretty big but we didn’t pound the ball down inside. We have to find somebody who can score on the low block. When we threw it in there today we didn’t score.”
Harris finished with a game-high 23 points, just three off her career-best. She was the only player in the entire game in double figures. Sophomore C’eira Ricketts added six and sophomore Ashley Daniels had five for Arkansas.
The Razorback post players did not score until nearly three minutes into the second half. Arkansas finished the game shooting 29.3 percent and were out-rebounded 49-33 in the game.
The Razorbacks face UTSA at 2 p.m. Central, noon Pacific as tournament play continues.