FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 25 University of Arkansas women’s basketball team lost its second-straight game of the season, dropping a 64-52 decision to No. 18/20 Rutgers on Sunday afternoon inside Bud Walton Arena. Arkansas’ struggled to find a rhythm offensively all game long, shooting 28.1 percent from the field and saw its record dip to 6-2.
The Razorbacks had four players in score in double figures, led by sophomore Jessica Jackson who had 14 points and eight rebounds. Senior Jhasmin Bowen contributed 13 points and eight rebounds while junior Melissa Wolff and sophomore Kelsey Brooks both chipped in 11 points.
Rutgers also had four players in double figure scoring, led by a game-high 17 points from Kahleah Copper.
Arkansas just could not get anything going on the offensive end, shooting 28.1 percent from the field and 22.2 percent from three-point distance. The Razorbacks took care of the ball, committing a season-low nine turnovers, but could not get shots to drop. Arkansas held an edge in second-chance points, 11-6, but was ultimately outrebounded for just the first time all season, 44-38.
Jackson scored the first 11 of 14 points for Arkansas as the Razorbacks and Scarlet Knights went back and forth in the game’s early goings. Right after tipoff, Rutgers showed its willingness to push the ball in transition but the Hogs showed their willingness to hustle back on defense, allowing only eight fast-break points for Rutgers.
Arkansas trailed by two with 11:21 left, but Rutgers, behind 51.4 percent first-half shooting, closed the half on a 20-10 run to take a 36-24 halftime advantage.
Arkansas, facing its largest halftime deficit of the season, refused to give in and came out ready to keep fighting in the second half. The Razorbacks trimmed the lead down to eight at the under-16 media timeout and cut the lead to six with 11:39 left, but that’s as close as the Razorbacks would get. After Arkansas was able to close the gap, Rutgers used a 10-3 run over the next 3:40 to push the lead up to double digits for good.
Arkansas kept grinding, holding Rutgers to seven second-half field goals and 31.8 percent shooting, but was not able to get the game back to single digits.
Next up, Arkansas hits the road for a Wednesday night matchup with Missouri State in Springfield, Mo.
“We got beat by a good basketball club, but we’re a good basketball team as well. I know we are. We aren’t going to beat anyone when we shoot 28 percent from the floor like we did. We had a lot of good looks, they just didn’t fall, especially early. I was so proud of how hard we fought, our toughness, we never would give in. Rutgers is really good. C. Vivian Stringer is a Hall of Fame coach; they have great athletes all across the board. We will learn from it, my players are disappointed right now.
We aren’t going to go away. That’s not who we are. We are going to fight the entire time. That ball game had a chance for Rutgers to push the lead to 20-25 points, and we said there’s no way we’re going to let that happen. I thought we prepared well, I thought we had a terrific game plan going in against a good team.”
POST GAME NOTES
– Arkansas falls to 0-3 all-time against Rutgers
– On the season, Arkansas is 1-1 against ranked teams after defeating No. 17/16 Iowa and losing to No. 18/20 Rutgers
– Sophomore Jessica Jackson has scored in double figures in seven of eight games this season and has been in double figures by halftime in five of those including today’s contest.
– Arkansas played in front of its second-largest crowd of the season – 1,997 fans.
– Sophomore Kelsey Brooks has scored in double figures in all eight games this season
– Four players scored 10+ points against Rutgers, the third time this season the Razorbacks have had four players in double figures. Arkansas has had at least three players score in double figures in every game this season.
– Arkansas was outrebounded for just the first time all season, 44-38.
– The last time a ranked Arkansas squad faced a ranked, non-conference team, was in the 2002-03 season when No. 17 Arkansas lost in overtime to No. 1 Duke, 74-72, on Nov. 30, 2002, in the Paradise Jam Tournament.
– Arkansas has used the same five starters (Berna, Brooks, Bowen, Jackson, Wolff) in all eight games this season.
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