TULSA, Okla. – Freshman Chrisstasia Walter dropped in a career-best 26 points leading the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team to a 78-59 win over Oral Roberts in the third round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament in Tulsa, Okla., Wednesday.
The Razorbacks (22-11) move on to the quarterfinals facing the winner of the Illinois State/Duquesne at a date, time and location to be decided after they play Thursday.
"It was a great effort by our team tonight," Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. "It’s a good feeling. We were brought here to try and build this program and we are starting to see signs of it. This team still wants to play and that is the most important thing. We are ready to see how far we can go.
"I can’t say enough about Chrisstasia," he continued. "We knew ORU would key on C’eira (Ricketts) and Sarah (Watkins) and that we would need someone else to step up. I knew that she was a capable player and it came at the right time tonight."
Arkansas dominated the boards for the entire game holding ORU without an offensive board for the entire first half and well into the second period.
Meanwhile, ORU did a good job keying on Ricketts and Watkins but Walter got loose and was nearly unstoppable in the first half.
Walter bettered her career-best more than doubling it in the first half with 21 points, four rebounds and a 3-for-4 performance from three-point range. She paced Arkansas to a 12-point halftime lead, 42-30, over the Golden Eagles. Watkins had seven and Quistelle Williams six in the first half.
Arkansas opened the second frame with an 11-for-17 performance shooting 64.7 percent in the first 12 minutes of the second frame.
The Golden Eagles put together a couple of four-point mini-runs but the Razorbacks seemed to answer getting a balanced scoring effort with eight players contributing. Junior Jamesha Townsend posted a career-best with seven points and was a key player along with Williams as Watkins and Daniels battled foul problems late in the game.
Arkansas shot 51.7 percent from the field hitting 30-of-58 from the field. The Razorbacks were 13-for-18 from the line and out-rebounded ORU 36-22, with just six offensive boards for the Golden Eagles.
Watkins fouled out with 13 points and two rebounds, going 5-for-6 from the line and Ricketts had 12 points and seven assists for Arkansas in the win.
The Razorbacks held one of the nation’s leading scorers, Kevi Luper who averages 24 points per game, to four points and forced seven turnovers from the sophomore guard.