Baton Rouge, La. – The University of Arkansas women’s basketball team went more than nine minutes without a field goal in the second half but pulled out a 53-45 win at LSU Thursday.
The Razorback (16-4, 4-4 SEC) win is the first at LSU since 1996 and stops a 16-game losing streak to the Tigers.
"That’s a great win for this team and for the program," Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. "It was far from perfect but when push came to shove, we put the ball in the hands of C’eira Ricketts and let her take over the game."
Ricketts paced Arkansas with 20 points and nine rebounds including a 7-for-9 performance from the line. Lyndsay Harris had 14 and six rebounds and Sarah Watkins had her second double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Arkansas’ field goal scoring draught in the second half allowed LSU to climb back into the game but the Razorbacks hit nine consecutive free throws keeping the contest just out of reach.
"There is no doubt our free throws were huge tonight," said Collen. "It was the difference in the game."
Arkansas went 18-for-22 from the line with Ricketts getting seven, and Watkins and freshman Keira Peak getting four each. Harris hit two with 15 seconds on the clock sealing the game.
The Razorbacks also focused much of the week on rebounding. Arkansas is almost last in the SEC but out-boarded LSU 46-37 led by Watkins’ 10. Peak and Ricketts each had nine.
"Rebounding was a point of emphasis for us all week," Collen said. "We really did a great job on the boards tonight."
Cold LSU shooting and good Razorback rebounding was the storyline in the first half. Arkansas held LSU scoreless for the first 9:45 in the game while opening a 13-2 lead. Harris and Ricketts had nine each at the break and Arkansas had out-rebounded the Tigers 22-14 in the first frame.
The first half was methodical and unhurried by Arkansas. The Razorbacks shot 33.3 percent holding LSU to just 16 points at the break.
The Razorbacks host No. 5 Tennessee (20-2) in SEC action Sunday in Bud Walton Arena in a 1 p.m. start. The game is televised by the SEC Network.