Ford posts career numbers Wednesday

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DALLAS, Texas — University of Arkansas senior Charity Ford posted a career-high 24 points but it wasn’t enough as the Razorbacks fell to Southern Methodist in Dallas, Texas, Wednesday.

The Razorbacks (1-1) surrendered a halftime lead falling to SMU (2-0), 76-71 in Moody Coliseum. Ford poured in 24 points and had five rebounds.

The win breaks a four-game Arkansas winning streak over the Mustangs.

“SMU is a very good team and we knew that coming in,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “They were an NCAA Tournament team a year ago and could very well be one again this year. They played a lot of 2-3 zone against us and we didn’t prepare much for that. We passed the ball around the perimeter and were not very patient. That’s something we’ll have to work on.”

The Razorbacks had a trio of players in double figures. Sophomore C’eria Ricketts scored 11 and freshman Sarah Watkins had 10 for Arkansas in the loss.

The Razorbacks pulled in 40 rebounds paced by nine from Ashley Daniels. Watkins added eight for Arkansas.

Arkansas stretched its second half lead to eight, 38-30, before SMU rallied behind the three-point shooting of Raquel Christian who finished the game with 18. She led five players in double figures for the Mustangs.

Christian began to heat up but Arkansas was able to battle in the early part of the second half. The Razorbacks grabbed a nine-point lead but couldn’t hold on as SMU caught fire and changed the momentum of the game with the three.

A 15-5 SMU run erased the Arkansas lead at the half century mark and, with 7:32 to play, SMU took a one-point, 52-51, lead and would not look back.

Arkansas kept the game close never trailing by more than six. Down by that margin with 11 seconds to play, Arkansas got the ball to Ford outside the arc and she drained the trey closing within three.

The Razorbacks had to foul and the Mustangs made the bonus shots to seal the win.

The first half was a track meet for the opening 12 minutes but shooting percentages for both teams suffered. Arkansas was 2-for-8 early hitting just 25 percent while SMU was 2-for-10 for 20 percent. The physicality of the game increased as time went on and both teams picked up fouls late in the period but Arkansas was able to muster a 26-24 lead at the break.

The halftime stats had Arkansas with 14 turnovers, a trend that continued from the Razorbacks’ 31 miscues in the opener against Alcorn State Sunday. Watkins and Ford were the Razorback leaders at the break with six points each and Lyndsay Harris had Arkansas lone three-pointer in the first half.

The Razorbacks finished the first half 11-for-29 for 37.9 percent while SMU was 9-for-31 for 29.0 percent. The Mustangs had four three-pointers holding Arkansas to just one in the opening frame.

Arkansas begins the home portion of the 2009-10 schedule Sunday hosting East Tennessee State at 3 p.m. in Bud Walton Arena.