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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Freshman Ciera Ricketts did it all for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks Sunday afternoon at Bud Walton Arena recording the program’s first triple-double in recent history during a, 70-61, loss to the 6th-ranked Auburn Tigers.
Ricketts added 13 rebounds and 12 assists to her team-high 14 points to achieve her magical moment, leading Arkansas (11-7, 0-3) in each statistical category. She also made Arkansas history by tying the mark for the most assists by a freshman in a single-game.
“Ceira Ricketts is a pretty special player,” Auburn head coach Nell Fortner said. “We had a hard time guarding her today.”
Ricketts tied the school record for most assists in a game by a freshman equaling Arkansas’ all-time career assist leader Amy Wright’s 12 against LSU in 1999. The 5-8 Louisville, Ky., guard also tied the school mark for most assists in a SEC regular season game, now sharing the mark with Wright and a 2004 game at Georgia by Rochelle Vaughn.
“I wasn’t concerned about it,” Ricketts said when asked about her triple. “I was just trying to do things to help our team to win.”
The Razorbacks trailed by as many 15 points early, but Ricketts and the Razorbacks closed to within four at halftime to the SEC’s No. 1 offensive team.
“We got better today, and if we keep working hard we’ll pull out that win,” UA head coach Tom Collen said. “We just need to find a little more consistency.”
Senior Ayana Brereton also compiled a team-high 14 points, while Lyndsay Harris adding 13 of her own.
Arkansas came out during the second-half ready to rumble after layups by Whitney Jones and Harris knotted things up, 34-34, with 19:03 to play. It would be the closest the Razorbacks would get to taking the lead since tip-off.
The Tigers (18-0, 3-0) extended their lead back to 12, 58-46, after two free-throws by DeWanna Bonner. Bonner paced Auburn with a double-double and game-high, 19 points and 14 rebounds.
“We did some things well in the second half to pull away from Arkansas,” Fortner said. “I was very pleased with the win today.”
Ricketts turned in an outstanding all-around first half with eight points, seven assists, and seven rebounds, the most of any player during the opening half.
A three-point basket by Brittany Richardson surged Arkansas to a 12-2 run with 8:22 to go in the first half. The run was capped off with two free-throws by freshman Julie Inman, cutting the Auburn lead to 29-24 at the time.
Harris ended the first half by soaring down the court for a layup cutting the Tigers’ halftime lead to 34-30.
Auburn led 18-6 at the 11:55 mark, before taking their largest lead of the game 25-10 with 9:22 to go in the first half.