WACO, Texas – Junior Melissa Wolff scored 13 points and grabbed 15 rebounds leading the University of Arkansas to a 57-55 win over Northwestern in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Waco, Texas, Friday.
Arkansas closed the game on a 22-7 run and held the W
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ildcats without a basket for almost four minutes at the end of the contest.
Sophomore Kelsey Brooks paced Arkansas with 15 points and six boards while Jessica Jackson added 14 points and eight rebounds. Jhasmin Bowen also scored in double figures with 12 points. Wolff’s double-double was the eight of her career and Arkansas is 7-1 when she records a double-double.
Northwestern jumped out to a 13 point lead late in the second half and Arkansas seemed to be struggling from the floor. The Razorbacks used their defense to make the comeback slowing down the Wildcats scoring while chipping away at the lead.
NU was up four, 51-55, at the 3:59 mark and Arkansas shutdown their offense from that point on. Brooks got a steal and a layup cutting the lead to two and Wolff followed with a steal and Bowen converted on the jumper to tie the game at 55 with 1:14 to play. It was the seventh tie of the contest.
NU missed its next opportunity and Jackson grabbed the rebound, She was fouled with: 29 seconds to play and hit one of the two bonus shots giving the Razorbacks the lead.
Wolff came down with the biggest rebound of the game and was pinned along the sideline but wisely called the timeout to save the possession.
NU came out of the break and had to foul Arkansas but the Razorbacks missed the free throw with just: 22 seconds left in the game.
NU turned the ball over on its trip down the floor and was again forced to foul Arkansas. Brooks hit one of two with: 02 seconds to go as the Razorbacks held on for the lead.
Arkansas shot 31.8 percent from the floor and went 11-for-19 from the line. The Wildcats shot 44.9 percent and committed 19 turnovers in the loss.
Arkansas faces the winner of the Baylor/Northwestern State in NCAA Tournament second round action Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.
* This is Arkansas’ 10th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history
* The Razorbacks are 13-9 all-time in the NCAA Tournament
* Arkansas has won nine consecutive first-round games
* The last loss in the first round was in 1989 at No. 5 Purdue
* Arkansas is 2-2 in the state of Texas in the NCAA Tournament
* Arkansas has faced 12 teams in the NCAA Tournament playing to a 5-9 record (before today)
* Arkansas has faced six teams who are in the WNIT with a 6-2 record
* Arkansas trailed by as many as 13 in the second half
* Arkansas held NU to 55 points – more than 20 points below its season average
* Arkansas outrebounded NU 42-37
* Arkansas held NU for the final 3:59 without a field goal
OFF THE BENCH
* Freshman McKinley Bostad was the first player off the bench for Arkansas at the 11:46 mark
* Arkansas did not score a bench point and NU only had four bench points
Senior Calli Berna
* Scored three points and has 736 career points ranking 40th
* Grabbed five rebounds and has 506 career rebounds ranking 23rd
* Dished out six assists and has 659 career assists ranking second
* Had two steals and has 223 career steals ranking fourth
Sophomore Jessica Jackson
* Scored 14 points and has 947 career points ranking 28th
* Scored in double figures for the 24th this year, the 11th consecutive game and the 50th time in her career
Senior Jhasmin Bowen
* Scored 12 points and has 854 career points ranking 33rd
* Grabbed three rebounds and has 495 career rebounds ranking tied for 27th
Junior Melissa Wolff
* Scored 13 points and had 15 rebounds
* It is her eighth double-double
* Arkansas is 7-1 when Wolff has a double-double