FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas junior Sarah Watkins made critical plays down the stretch lifting the Razorback women’s basketball team to a 42-40 win over LSU Sunday keeping the team’s postseason hopes alive.
Watkins broke the eighth tie of the game with a turnaround jumper along the baseline with 2:18 to play giving Arkansas (18-8, 5-8 SEC) a 41-39 lead.
The Razorbacks committed a hustle foul with just under two minutes remaining but LSU (17-11, 7-7 SEC) converted just one of the bonus shots. Arkansas fouled a second time sending the Tigers to the line for a one-and-one with 38 seconds remaining in regulation but again LSU missed the free shot.
LSU then fouled Arkansas sending junior Lyndsay Harris to the line for two shots. Harris missed the first but hit the second helping Arkansas to the win while scoring her career 1,000th-point.
Watkins scored five of the final eight points and finished with a game-high 19 points. Junior Ashley Daniels grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds and junior C’eira Ricketts finished with nine points.
"This win means a lot for the team," Watkins said. "We know we are a good team but it’s a matter of getting it done. This is a big win for us. Coach (Timothy) Eatman does a great job at coaching us on defense. We see his effort and intensity and that makes us play harder."
The defense in the game was solid by both teams. LSU rallied late winning the rebounding battle, 44-38, but Arkansas forced 10 LSU turnovers and converted those to 15 points in the game. Arkansas held the Tigers to just 26.5 percent from the floor in 13-for-49 shooting.
"It’s a huge win," said Arkansas head coach Tom Collen. "It wasn’t pretty basketball but that’s due in part to LSU being one of the better defensive teams in the country. Right now we are finding a way to hang on and pull out wins. That means everything to this team. This win was a huge step in the right direction and gives us the confidence to go out and play well at Kentucky next week."