Razorbacks overcome slow start, roll Prairie View A&M

By: Paul Boyd
Published: Sunday, December 16, 2018
Arkansas coach Mike Neighbors watches during a game against Arizona State on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Fayetteville.
Photo by David Beach
Arkansas coach Mike Neighbors watches during a game against Arizona State on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE — Mike Neighbors didn’t panic when his team got off to a slow start against Prairie View A&M on Sunday afternoon and neither did his players.

Arkansas roared back from an early deficit with a strong second half to claim a 71-44 win in front of 1,892 at Bud Walton Arena.

The Arkansas women’s basketball coach figured his team would be rusty following final exams this week, but he was pleased with how the players bounced back in the second half.

“I didn’t say hardly a word at halftime,” Neighbors said. “They talked to themselves, fixed a lot of problems, and I thought our second half was more like the team we’ve been seeing. But I’m certainly not hitting panic mode. I know what they went through last week. I thought they played really well from the middle of the second quarter on.

“I thought they were the aggressor. I was concerned with that. I was concerned that they came in off a road trip to Colorado where the altitude’s supposed to zap you. We were sleeping in our own beds. We challenged them a little bit with that.”

Prairie View (3-5) led 18-13 after the first quarter and out-rebounded Arkansas 19-11. But the Razorbacks (8-3) dominated from that point on. Arkansas held a huge 64-46 rebounding lead for the game, but it was even bigger in the final three quarters (53-27).

The Razorbacks held the Panthers to just four second-quarter points and held a 26-22 lead at the intermission, despite missing 16 consecutive shots at one point. They pulled away in the second half, using a quick 9-2 spurt to end the third quarter for a 47-31 advantage en route to the blowout.

Bailey Zimmerman and Williams led the Razorbacks’ rebounding barrage with 11 and 10, respectively.

Arkansas shot just 33 percent (25-of-76) for the game and only 3 of 23 (13 percent from 3-point range. Williams acknowledged the eight-day layoff between games and dealing with finals all played a part in the slow start.

“I think more than three or four days between games, teams can get sluggish and lose that sense of urgency,” Williams said. “But I felt like in the second half, we picked it up.

“Along with the graduation, we weren’t in Bud (Walton Arena) that many days, so I feel like coming from our practice facility over to Bud it was a big change with our shooting. We just have to get comfortable again.”

TIP-INS

• Malica Monk scored eight points on Sunday and is now eight points from becoming the 28th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark.

• Arkansas’ Taylah Thomas was the only player on either team to finish with double figures in scoring. The 6-foot-1 sophomore scored 11 points in 15 minutes off the bench.

• The Panthers’ trip to Fayetteville is the second of six consecutive road games. They won’t play a home game until Jan. 12 when they play host to Texas Southern.

UP NEXT

Arkansas plays host to Nebraska on Tuesday night and then travels to Tulsa on Thursday to complete its three games in five days run

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