Arkansas losses overtime heartbreaker
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NORMAN, Okla. — The University of Arkansas women’s basketball team a 16-point second half lead slip away falling by one at No. 18 Oklahoma in overtime Saturday.
Arkansas (5-2) dropped the 87-86 decision to Oklahoma (6-2) in a hard-fought battle that the Razorbacks were in control of for much of the game.
“It’s a disappointing loss,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “We let one get away and while I’m disappointed in the loss, I’m excited about Arkansas basketball and our future.”
The Razorbacks were paced by freshman Sarah Watkins with 18 points. Sophomore C’eira Ricketts and senior Charity Ford had 15 each in the loss.
“We worked hard today but we let one get away,” said Ford. “We made some mistakes but we can correct those. We’re going to learn from this and move on.”
With time running out, Arkansas missed two key layups and the front end of a 1-and-1 that would likely have sealed the Razorback win in regulation.
The overtime period was well-played by both teams and Arkansas had a chance for the win at the end.
With nine seconds remaining, Arkansas had the ball on an in-bounds play. The Razorbacks got off a couple of shots under the basket but couldn’t get the friendly roll as OU came away with the win.
The first half was composed and balanced by both teams. There were seven lead changes but the turning point of the frame came when Ricketts got a steal and passed ahead to Jamesha Townsend for the layup.
That basket gave the Razorbacks a 10-point lead and forced OU to call a timeout.
Oklahoma broke from the timeout and ran off five quick points closing the gap but Arkansas remained poised and slowly worked the lead again before finishing the half with a 13-point, 46-33, advantage.
Arkansas shot 45.9 percent in the first half and out-boarded OU 21-18 after a slow start. Ricketts paced scoring in the first half with a game-best 13 points. Ford added nine. Ashley Daniels led the team at the break with four rebounds and Arkansas limited its turnovers to just three while Oklahoma had eight.
“We did a good job of taking care of the ball in the first half,” Collen said. “That was one of the things we talked about coming into this game and I was pleased with how we responded to that.”
Arkansas returns home hosting Coppin State Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. in Bud Walton Arena.
For more information regarding Razorback women’s basketball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.