TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Junior C’eira Ricketts dropped in 18 points leading three players in double-figures as the No. 20/23 University of Arkansas women’s basketball team picked up a 57-53 win at Alabama Sunday.
The Razorbacks (15-2, 3-2 SEC) struggled with turnovers committing 28 in the game. Alabama (11-7, 0-5 SEC) also battled the turnover monster with 24.
Ricketts was joined by sophomore Sarah Watkins with 16 points and freshman Keira Peak added 11 points and had seven rebounds in the win.
"Well, we are certainly happy to get out of here with a win," Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. "We played to not lose instead of to win and that showed."
The first half was a slow, methodical game with Arkansas taking a 32-23 lead into the break. Ricketts hit a long three at the buzzer giving Arkansas the nine-point advantage.
The opening minutes of the game were sloppy by both teams and both Bama and the Razorbacks were cold from the floor early.
Arkansas had just one three point attempt through the first 10 minutes of the half. The Razorbacks never trailed in the half and the teams were tied at 11 at the 11:00 mark in the frame.
The Razorbacks got a pair of free throws from Watkins giving Arkansas the lead for the last time in the half. Arkansas stretched the lead to six but Alabama rallied and closed within one point, 22-21, at the 3:47 mark.
Ricketts hit a three and Arkansas again grew the lead going up nine at the break.
Alabama came out fast in the second half and ran out a 5-0 start to close the gap to four, then two, 37-35, but the Razorbacks remained composed and got the ball in the hands of its leaders.
Watkins netted a two from 10-feet and followed with a three-pointer helping the Razorbacks stretch the lead.
But Alabama would not go away. The Crimson Tide tied the game at 49 with 7:31 left in the game. Alabama did a better job on the boards and was able to get a couple of tough shots to fall as they drew near.
A 1:59 minute scoring drought by both teams followed the tie before Watkins was fouled and made her two bonus shots. It would be another two minutes before another field goal, this one by Peak who hit a three to rally the Razorbacks.
Alabama made one final charge moving within one, 54-53, with 1:29 to play. Arkansas got the ball in the hands of Ricketts who was fouled and made the bonus shot giving the Razorbacks a two-point edge.
The Crimson Tide had the ball with 15 seconds on the clock but committed a final turnover, their 24th of the game, giving Arkansas the ball and eventually the win.
Arkansas returns to action Thursday traveling to Vanderbilt as SEC action continues.