The UofA women’s basketball team (9-11) had an impressive victory over the Louisiana State University Tigers on Jan. 21, but the team could not repeat its success against the Auburn Tigers on Jan. 24.
The victory at LSU capped a three-game winning streak for the Lady Razorbacks, who have had some ups and downs throughout the course of this season. Junior forward Jessica Jackson finished the game with 15 points and six rebounds to lead the Hogs, while guard Devin Cosper poured in 12 points and five rebounds of her own to help seal the deal. The game proved to be a matchup of two stout defenses, as the 48-44 final score showed just how low-scoring the game was.
Perhaps the most impressive defensive performance of the game came in the third quarter, a period in which the Razorbacks only gave up four points to the Tigers. Arkansas followed up their defensive effort by holding LSU to zero baskets through the first four minutes of the fourth quarter. The Tigers rallied to narrow the game to a score of 43-42, but the Razorbacks pulled away after a Cosper three-point shot.
When the Razorbacks returned home, they had a couple of days off before they headed to Auburn to face a team that was ready for a fight. Unfortunately for the ladies in red, the Tigers pulled out a hard-fought 71-60 victory in overtime. The key to the Tigers’ success was their smothering full-court press, which the team employed throughout the game to force 28 Arkansas turnovers and three steals in the overtime period.
At the end of regulation, Arkansas had four starters in double figures in the scoring column. Jackson finished with 19 points, Cosper had 17, Kelsey Brooks had 10 and Melissa Wolf had 10. The Razorbacks received no scoring bump from their reserves, as the only players who scored for the Hogs were starters. While junior center Alecia Cooley added only four points to her stat line, her 10 rebounds were crucial in helping the Hogs keep things close until overtime struck.
In the overtime period, Auburn’s defense wore out the Razorbacks and created some easy transition buckets for the home team. The Tigers outscored the Hogs 15-4 in overtime, and the Razorbacks seemed unable to find their offensive identity. When the game ended, it was clear that Auburn left its mark on the glass, outrebounding Arkansas 43-35.
Prior to the LSU game, Arkansas won two consecutive games against ranked opponents and three out of its last four against ranked teams. In the three victories, which all took place in Fayetteville, the Hogs upset then-No. 13 Texas A&M 67-61, then-No. 13 Tennessee 64-59 and then-No. 24 Missouri 64-52. The victory over Texas A&M was especially noteworthy because the Aggies’ coach, Gary Blair, was formerly the head coach at Arkansas from 1993 to 2003.
The Lady Razorbacks will have another chance to repeat their home magic against ranked teams when they take on No. 22 Florida in Bud Walton Arena Thursday. The game will begin at 7 p.m.