UA women fall after pushing unbeaten Mississippi State

By: Scottie Bordelon
Published: Friday, January 6, 2017
Arkansas' Alecia Cooley (35) and Bailey Zimmerman (22) battle for a rebound against Mississippi State's Teaira McCowan during a game Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, in Fayetteville.
Photo by J.T. Wampler
Arkansas' Alecia Cooley (35) and Bailey Zimmerman (22) battle for a rebound against Mississippi State's Teaira McCowan during a game Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Morgan William scored a team-high 15 points, and Chinwe Okorie added 14 points and 15 rebounds as No. 4 Mississippi State (16-0) remained perfect with a 59-51 victory over Arkansas on Thursday in Walton Arena.

“It was one of those games,” said Mississippi State Coach Vic Schaefer, who is a former Arkansas assistant coach. “We’ve not been practicing well, and to be honest with you we may have a couple of kids that are feeling a bit of the number – the 15 and the 0, more the 0 than the 15. You can’t play that way.”

Okorie, a 6-5 forward, finished just three rebounds shy of a double-double in the first quarter as Mississippi State took an 18-11 edge into the second. The Razorbacks, despite scoring the final four points of the quarter, shot just 3 of 13 and were outrebounded 15-7 in the opening 10 minutes.

A 5-0 Razorbacks run in the second quarter cut Mississippi State’s lead to 22-18. Arkansas pulled within 24-20, but an 11-2 Mississippi State run sent the Bulldogs into halftime with a 35-22 lead. Arkansas shot just 7 of 26 (27 percent) from the floor in the opening half.

Arkansas senior Jessica Jackson scored 10 points as part of a 12-2 Razorbacks run in the third quarter, cutting Mississippi State’s lead to 38-34.

Arkansas got within two points late in the fourth, and twice had possession with a chance to tie or take the lead but couldn’t take advantage. The Razorbacks finished the game two of their last 10 from the floor and were held without a field goal over the final 4:59.

“I think that’s us,” Schaefer said. “I just think that’s who we are. We really live with our defense, we live on stop-score-stop. We try to talk about it in timeouts; when it gets tough and someone needs a bucket, we seem to get locked in.”

Arkansas’ Malica Monk scored a game-high 17 points on 4 of 12 from the floor and 8 of 9 at the free-throw line. Jackson followed with 12 points, all in the second half. Victoria Vivians also added 13 points for the Bulldogs.

Next up for Arkansas is a Sunday afternoon matchup against LSU in Walton Arena. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.

Sports on 01/06/2017

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