UA women's rally ends while down 2

By: Andrew Epperson Special to the NWA Democrat-Gazette
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018
Arkansas coach Mike Neighbors reacts to a play during a 84-58 to Missouri on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018 at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.
Photo by J.T. Wampler
Arkansas coach Mike Neighbors reacts to a play during a 84-58 to Missouri on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018 at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Down by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter, the Arkansas women's basketball team clawed back to make it a two-point game with 1:26 to play.

The Razorbacks locked in on defense, but LSU junior guard Chloe Jackson knocked down a contested jumper to push the Tigers' lead back to four, silencing Walton Arena and giving her team the momentum to fend off the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville in a 62-57 victory Sunday.

"I think LSU's continued to prove that they can win in so many different ways," Razorbacks Coach Mike Neighbors said. "They really do a good job of identifying their roles and playing to their strengths, and I think that was the huge key."

Arkansas (12-15, 3-11 SEC) played catch-up throughout. The Razorbacks managed to keep things close despite a poor shooting day by senior guard Devin Cosper, who is second on the team in scoring this season. She was 1 of 11 from the field and scored only five points in 31 minutes.

"There's nothing mechanically wrong," Neighbors said. "We're gonna keep feeding her and keep calling actions for her. I know that over the course of a 10-day span, that stuff will work itself out."

Junior guard Malica Monk had a tough first half of her own. She started the half 1 of 11, but a deep, buzzer-beating three-pointer at the end of the half gave her some juice heading into the locker room.

A strong effort by the Razorbacks on the defensive end in the fourth quarter allowed them to chip away at LSU's lead until they found themselves down by two baskets after Monk rattled off four consecutive points with under four minutes left. She finished with 17 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists.

"Monk has always been somebody who we've struggled to keep in front of us," LSU Coach Nikki Fargas said. "Her foot speed is pretty impressive. She was able to basically split our traps, and I thought that really affected us."

Cosper drove the paint and dropped it off to sophomore forward Kiara Williams, who went up for an easy layup to make it a two-point game. She scored 19 points to lead the Hogs and hauled in nine rebounds.

"She's the kid [who] really gave us that lifeline when shots weren't going," Neighbors said. "For her to get nine rebounds against that team, that's an incredible stat."

The Tigers called a timeout after Williams' layup. When Jackson got the ball on the right wing, she took one dribble in and pulled up for a jumper over the outstretched arms of Arkansas junior guard Bailey Zimmerman. The ball rattled around before dropping in, which pushed LSU's lead back to four.

"She hadn't been making a lot of shots, but she had a lot of good looks," Fargas said. "I think that was her first and only jump shot of the night, and that's not typical of Jackson."

Arkansas couldn't respond with made shots. Monk missed a three on the other end, which resulted in a fastbreak layup for Tigers sophomore forward Ayana Mitchell, who scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Tigers in both categories.

"We don't judge ourselves by the outcomes of these games," Neighbors said. "We haven't all year, and we're going to continue to not do that."

Senior guard Raigyne Lewis had 15 points and 10 rebounds for LSU.

Sports on 02/19/2018

Discussion

Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.