UA warms up after frigid start
Freshman Melissa Wolff scored a career-high 15 points, making 5 of 6 shots from the floor, and grabbed 5 rebounds to pace a balanced scoring attack that included four players with at least 10 points each.
LITTLE ROCK Arkansas’ women’s basketball team hadn’t played in 10 days, and it showed Sunday against Furman.
The Razorbacks missed their first nine shots, but Dominique Robinson made two free throws six minutes into the game to spark an 18-2 run and Arkansas pulled away for a 73-38 victory at Timmons Arena in Greenville, S.C.
Freshman Melissa Wolff scored a career-high 15 points, making 5 of 6 shots from the floor, and grabbed5 rebounds to pace a balanced scoring attack that included four players with at least 10 points each. Junior guard Keira Peak added 12 points, while Erin Gatling came off the bench to score 11 and Sarah Watkins came off the bench to score 10.
“It was good to get out and play a game after the 10-day break,” Arkansas Coach Tom Collen said. “I was able to play a lot of players and we got a road win. There are a lot of positives to take away from this.”
The Razorbacks (9-1) relied on pressuring the Paladins (3-6) to fuel their offense, forcing 15 turnovers - including 11 steals - in the first half.
Four consecutive turnovers started the critical run, including a steal by Gatling that led to a jumper by Quistelle Williams for a 12-6 lead at the 13:21 mark after the Paladins had taken a 6-4 lead.
Peak pushed the margin to 18-8 when she stripped the ball from Kaitlin Murphy and coasted in for a basket with 10:37 left in the first half, and Robinson capped the run with another basket in the lane for a 24-8 lead with 7:28 left until the break.
Wolff led the team with nine first-half points, and eight players scored in the opening 20 minutes to help the Razorbacks build at 37-18 lead.
Furman, which committed 27 turnovers, never found a way to slice into the lead. The Paladins shot just 22.9 percent (11 of 48) and knocked down almost as many three-pointers (five) as two-point shots (six). Furman made just 3 of 14 from two-point range in the second half.
Guard Erica Norwood scored a team-high 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting, and Murphy and Holli Wilkins added 6 points each for Furman.
The Razorbacks, who shot 46.6 percent, expanded the lead over the middle stretch of the second half.
Wilson knocked down a three-pointer with 15:43 left in the second half for a 46-23 lead, and Watkins added a jumper a minute later for a 48-25 lead as the Paladins went scoreless over the next seven minutes during Arkansas’ 11-0 run.
A jumper by Jhasmin Bowen pushed the lead 55-25 with 9:57 remaining, and her free throw at 7:07 capped the run for a 59-25 lead. The Paladins never closed the gap to fewer than 28 points, cutting the lead to 61-33 on Norwood’s free throw with 5:30 to play.
Sports, Pages 15 on 12/17/2012