FAYETTEVILLE —It couldn’t have been scripted any better for lone senior Keira Peak who poured in a season-high 24 points on Senior Day and carried the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team (19-10, 6-10 SEC) to a 72-70 win over Missouri (17-12, 6-10 SEC) at Bud Walton Arena on Sunday.
The Clyattville, Ga., native not only finished shooting better than 50 percent from the floor, but in typical Peak fashion came up with a number of hustle plays and stuffed her stat sheet with eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks.
Peak wasted no time making an impact on Senior Day, as the lone senior opened the game hitting her first five shots from the floor for 10 points to carry the Razorbacks to an early 17-10 lead by the 13-minute mark of the first half. UA as a group opened the game 8-for-14 (57 percent). The Razorback reserves stepped in from off the bench and helped UA take its largest lead of the game at nine points with 10:15 to play in the half, as Kelsey Brooks scored four points and Melissa Wolff added two more to extend UA’s lead to 25-16. Peak continued her unconscious shooting performance and had a game-high 14 points on 7-for-8 shooting to push UA’s lead to 31-18. An and-1 play just before the buzzer would help MIZZOU head into the locker room having closed the UA lead to just seven points at 39-32, despite the Razorbacks leading by as much as 13 points.
The second half picked up right where the first half left off, as Peak drilled a 20-foot jumper and gave UA a 41-35 lead. Peak tied a season-high with 20 points with 64 percent shooting, as UA held to a tight 45-43 lead with 15:45 to play. Missouri found its range from beyond the arc in the second half, as it took its first lead of the game at 46-45 at the 15:16 mark of the second half. Both teams traded leads midway through the second half, but a 15-2 run over 3:42 from the Razorbacks helped UA regain a 67-59 lead with 3:48 to go. The Tigers were 1-for-7 during the stretch. Things tightened up late as the Tigers came within 71-70 with under 10 seconds to play, but a last-second shot to tie the game was just short and UA secured the win.
DOUBLE DIP Melissa Wolff made her first-career start against Missouri earlier this season and recorded her first-career double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds in the win. The sophomore went back to work Sunday and earned her second straight double-double against the Tigers with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
TURNING POINT A 15-2 run from the Razorbacks over 3:42 late in the second half helped Arkansas build a comfortable lead to work with. Over the stretch, the Tigers were held to just 1-for-7 shooting by the Razorbacks. UA fended off a late rally from the Tigers and held on for the 72-70 win.
QUOTING HEAD COACH TOM COLLEN “I posed the question to Keira Peak in shootaround how many she was going to have here today. I was referencing family members, but she replied about 50. I looked at her and I said, ’50?’ Then they reminded her that I didn’t want to know how many points she was going to score. She didn’t get to 50, but she got to 24 points and that might have been her best game of the season.”
QUICK HITS – Lone senior Keira Peak finished with a season-high 24 points on Senior Day and added eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks to stuff her stat sheet.
– With her eight rebounds, Peak moved into 16th place all-time in program history with 608 career rebounds.
– Melissa Wolff recorded her second career double-double and second straight against Missouri with a 11 point, 10 rebound effort. The sophomore also finished with four blocks, which was two shy of tying the program record for a single SEC game.
– Calli Berna finished with eight points, five assists and five rebounds.
– Berna bumped her season assist total to 197 and moved closer to breaking the program’s class record for most assists by a junior in a season. Amy Wright had 198 assists as a junior. Averaging 6.9 assists per game and with one game left, Berna is on pace to erasing Wright’s mark.
– Berna now has 493 career assists, which ranks fifth all-time in program history.
– Jhasmin Bowen finished with 14 points and three rebounds to record her 12th game in double figures this season.
– Arkansas recorded six steals in the game. Over their last eight games, the Razorbacks have recorded a combined 73 steals (9.1 spg). UA averages 9.5 takeaways per game this season.
– Arkansas out-rebounded Missouri 41-to-37. UA has come up with more rebounds than its opponents 16 times this season and is 14-2 when doing so.
– Arkansas improved to 17-4 this season when leading at halftime. The Razorbacks were up 39-32 at the break.
– Arkansas improved to 9-4 all-time against Missouri. The Razorbacks are 4-1 in Fayetteville against the Tigers. Head coach Tom Collen is 5-1 against the Tigers.
– Tom Collen is 348-159 overall in 16 seasons as a head coach and 131-89 in seven years at Arkansas.
POSTGAME TWEETABLES (140 Characters Or Less)
– THANK YOU @kpeaky1 for all the energy, highlights and memories at Bud Walton Arena the past four seasons! #WPSForever #GoHogs
– The regular season over, the #GoHogs head to Duluth, Ga., on Wednesday and face Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament.
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UP NEXT Arkansas head to Duluth, Ga., for the SEC Tournament next week and is slotted to face Ole Miss on Wednesday night. All results are not final and will be updated if changed.
Download: Game 29-Missouri.pdf