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Ricketts, Harris, Arkansas upset OU

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Ricketts, Harris, Arkansas upset OU

FAYETTEVILLE – C’eira Ricketts had 21 and Lyndsay Harris had 18 leading the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team to an upset win, 67-57, over No. 12 Oklahoma in Bud Walton Arena Sunday.

The victory moves the Razorbacks to 11-0 on the year and is the first win over a ranked opponent since the 2008-09 season.

Ricketts’ 21 ties her season-best and led all scorers in the closely contested game.

"It feels great," Ricketts said after the game. "We showed that we are a better team than we were last year. Lyndsay and I stressed to the team to stay together and play as a team. We did that and got the win."

"The crowd was great," added Harris of the 2818 fans. "It feels good to know they were behind us."

"This is a great win for our program," Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. "This team has told me they were ready all week. I’m most proud of how much I think this team grew up tonight. We got tougher tonight. This team is showing they can win the close games."

Freshman Keira Peak finished with 11 points and nine rebounds and junior Ashley Daniels also had nine boards.

The game didn’t always look as though it would go Arkansas’ way. Oklahoma opened with a 12-4 run with one of the most explosive offenses the Razorbacks have faced.

But Arkansas quickly got its feet under themselves and scratched back into the game. The teams were tied at 19-all at the 5:19 mark of the first half and that would set the stage for a back-and-fourth nail-bitter that finished with nine ties and seven lead changes in the 40 minutes.

Arkansas stretched the lead to five, 29-24, but a last-second jumper by OU cut the deficit to three, 29-26, at the half.

The Razorbacks knew from experience that Oklahoma would be tough in the second frame. The Razorbacks had a double-digit lead over the Sooners in Norman, Okla., last year only to fall by one in overtime.

But Arkansas is a year older and a year wiser in this contest and did a better job of taking care of the basketball and limiting OU’s chances.

In fact, Arkansas finished the game forcing a season-high 23 Sooner turnovers against a team who averages just over 17 for the year. Ten of those miscues came in the second half.

The sea-saw game saw Oklahoma get a two-point lead, 48-46, with 7:05 remaining in the contest.

Harris answered with a big three-pointer allowing Arkansas to re-gain the lead. It was followed by a block from Ricketts and a media timeout.

Both teams substituted freely after the break but the changes would end up favoring Arkansas. Harris added a quick jumper out of the timeout followed by a three with an assist from Ricketts growing the Arkansas lead to six.

Harris got a steal and passed ahead to Ricketts who put the ball on her hip, drove the lane and scored giving Arkansas an eight-point, 56-58 lead with just under four minutes to play.

Arkansas would go on to lead by as many as 10 three times in the final minutes. Oklahoma got as close as six, 61-55, but Ricketts hit a jumper and the Sooners were forced to begin fouling.

The Razorbacks hit their free throws done the stretch going 17-for-23 for the game. Arkansas out-shot OU 41.1%-39.3% but the Sooners won the rebounding battle, 40-31.

Arkansas is off from competition over the holiday break returning to the court Dec. 28, hosting Furman before starting Southeastern Conference play after the New Year.

Download: AR game 11-OU.pdf



Sports Category : Basketball (W)