UA shocks No. 19 LSU with 40-point 2nd half
Arkansas head coach Tom Collen instructs his team during a timeout in the second half of NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won 68-58. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
Coach Tom Collen told his Arkansas women’s basketball team that if it could simply continue playing defense, points would eventually come at LSU on Sunday afternoon.
The Razorbacks did, the points followed and they ended up with their first victory over a ranked team in six tries this season.
Freshman Jessica Jackson scored 25 points and the Arkansas made seven three-pointers in the second-half to rally from a 10-point deficit in a 57-53 victory over No. 19 LSU in front of 3,155 at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge.
The Razorbacks (18-9, 5-9) scored 40 points in the second half after trailing 27-17 at halftime in a victory that came two years to the day of a 72-71 overtime victory at No. 10 Tennessee, the last time they beat ranked team on the road.
“It was a great win for our program today,” Collen said. “We told our players that we were only down 10 at the half and that if we would commit to our defense the offense would come. Several of our young players stepped up and contributed.”
Keira Peak added 10 points and 10 rebounds, Bria Pitts scored nine on 3 three-pointers for Arkansas, which won on the road for the first time since Jan. 5 at Missouri.
Peak also had four steals, while Melissa Wolff had three steals and the Razorbacks forced 19 LSU turnovers.
“You have to finish games off with your defense and your board play,” LSU Coach Nikki Caldwell said. “I thought that was a challenge for us, and I thought that hurt us.”
Theresa Plaisance scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds for LSU (18-9, 7-7), while Jeannae Kenney scored 10 points and had six rebounds.
LSU scored the game’s first seven points and Arkansas didn’t score until Jhasmin Bowen’s layup 4:15 into the game. The Razorbacks trailed 16-3 with 9:39 left in the first half after missing 12 of their first 13 shots and turned it over four times in that span.
The Razorbacks fell behind 32-17 less than two minutes into the second half, but Jackson made a free throw, then a jumper to spark a string of nine consecutive points that made it 32-26 on Pitts’ three-pointer with 16:00 left.
Pitts made another three less than two minutes later to make it 34-29, and a Peaklayup got the Razorbacks within 34-31 with 13:45 left.
The Razorbacks tied the game on a Jackson three with 7:42 left to make it 39-39 and took their first lead on another Jackson three that made it42-39 with 6:28 left.
LSU regained the lead twice, the last time coming on a Sheila Boykin free throw with 3:35 that made it 48-47. But Peak scored on Arkansas’ next possession to make it 49-48 and the lead didn’t change hands again.
“Hopefully this team can take a page from Arkansas, who really fought to the end,” Caldwell said. “We’re capable of doing that, and we’ve shown that we can.”THURSDAY’S GAMES Vanderbilt 56, Arkansas 50 Texas A&M 73, Mississippi 61 Tennessee 93, Auburn 63 Missouri 81, Florida 76 Georgia 71, LSU 67 South Carolina 81, Kentucky 58 Alabama 72, Mississippi State 64, OT SUNDAY’S GAMES South Carolina 69, Florida 55 LSU 53, Arkansas 50 Kentucky 83, Texas A&M 74 Tennessee 56, Missouri 50 Auburn 67, Georgia 59 Mississippi State 72, Mississippi 70 Alabama 66, Vanderbilt 62
Sports, Pages 13 on 02/24/2014