W. Basketball 30 Greatest Games

#1A – Arkansas 77, #8 Duke 72
March 23, 1998
A total team effort. Christy Smith fulfills the dream of every little girl-she must make the free throws to send Arkansas to the Final Four. Smith does not get to the line without Tennille Adams’ offensive stick-back to put Arkansas ahead. Treva Christensen and Sytia Messer solidify their picks as All-West and West Region MVP. The game gives rise to two of the greatest moments in women’s basketball history. The first came before the game. After a silent ride through the Oakland twilight, Gary Blair rose as the team bus halted. “Don’t get off the bus if you don’t expect to win,” he said, then turned and left the bus. The second came after as Smith and Stancle fell to the floor at the end of the game. ESPN commentator Beth Mowens declared, “Do you believe in miracles?”

#1B-ARKANSAS 82, #6 Texas 77
February 23, 1990
The clipping above from the Dallas Morning News says it all. Senior Juliet Jackson’s clutch free throws ice the first loss by UT to a SWC member-183 consecutive games. Delmonica DeHorney led Arkansas with 26 points, eight boards and four blocks. Jackson had 19 points and seven assists, and of course, was 7-of-8 at the line-4-of-4 in the closing minute. DeHorney was national player of the week after the game, but those that were there will tell you the best part was seeing The Drum bathed in white-not victory burnt orange-lights.

#2-#22 ARKANSAS 82, #2 LSU 72
January 19, 2003
The largest regular season crowd in school history (11,486) and ESPN watched as Arkansas won the first top 10 vs. top 10 game in school history. Arkansas’ “Big Three” of Shameka Christon (25 points, 7 boards), India Lewis (19 points) and Dana Cherry (13 points, 12 rebounds) were joined with SEC all-freshman Ruby Vaden (13 points, 7 boards) as the Razorbacks dominated the second-ranked Tigers. LSU threatened late, but the comeback only served to add to the instant classic status of the game. Along with mark the best start in SEC play to date, LSU became the highest-ranked team to lose to Arkansas.

#3-Arkansas 72, #9 Tennessee 71 (OT)
February 23, 2012
Sarah Watkins hit a layup with eight seconds on the clock forcing overtime with the game tied at 62, and Lyndsay Harris hit two in overtime giving Arkansas a 72-71 win in overtime over No. 9/11 Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn. The Razorbacks hit the final four points and held Tennessee scoreless late for the win. Harris paced Arkansas with 20 points and Watkins had 18. Senior C’eira Ricketts added 16 in the win. Arkansas’ first half effort was fantastic and they played themselves to a 31-26 lead at the break. Harris had 11 points to lead all scorers in the first 20 minutes but Arkansas’ aggressive play racked up nine fouls. The Razorbacks shot 57.9 percent in the first half hitting 11-of-19 shots and the Razorbacks did a good job defensively, holding Tennessee to 9-for-20 from the floor and forcing 10 Lady Vol turnovers. Tennessee came out much more aggressive defensively in the second half and outscored Arkansas 36-31 in the second half but Watkins layup allowed Arkansas to hold on to the tie and force the extra period. The Razorbacks finished the game hitting 25-for-50 from the floor and eight three pointers.

#4-#22 ARKANSAS 81, #7 Georgia 70
March 18, 1990
Considered for years one of the top 10 upsets in NCAA women’s tournament history, Arkansas goes to Athens, Ga., to stun the Lady Bulldogs behind 30 points from Juliet Jackson. Georgia’s strategy was to shut down Delmonica DeHorney and Blair Savage inside and isolate Amber Nicholas outside. They dared Jackson to beat them, and she did by raining down 12-of-19 from the perimeter.

#5-ARKANSAS 67, Wisconsin 64
March 23, 1999
Don’t try to tell the WNIT record crowd of 14,163 fans at Walton Arena that this was the game for 65th in the country. The back-and-forth battle with the Badgers was befitting any championship. Seniors Kamara Stancle and sophomore Wendi Willits score 15 each as the team wins one for Sytia Messer’s mom who passed away 24 hours before the game.

#6-#22 ARKANSAS 77,#6 TENNESSEE 75
December 29, 1996
The Razorbacks make national headlines with their first-ever win over Tennessee. Sytia Messer holds Chamique Holdsclaw to a single field goal and only 7 points while Christy Smith and Kimberly Wilson go off for 21 points each. Wilson jumped on UT early, hitting her first three treys and giving Arkansas a 19-11 advantage. Defense was the difference as four turnovers keyed a 13-0 run by Arkansas, capped by a three-pointer by Sytia Messer for a 48-36 lead. Tennessee did not go away, rallying to within a point, 76-75, with :56 to play. The Lady Vols had one last chance to win the game, but missed an inside shot. Karen Jones pulled down the rebound of her life and was fouled by Tennessee. Jones’ free throw in the final seconds gave Arkansas its final margin of victory.

#7A-Arkansas 74, #7 South carolina 46
January 27, 2002
January 31, 2002
A combination entry because they are the first time that Arkansas defeated consecutive top 10 teams at Fayetteville, and because of the circumstances around the games. The Razorbacks stumbled at USC only three weeks earlier, 91-66, and thanks to some humbling early games were 1-6 to open SEC play. Not only did Arkansas turn the season around, it did it in convincing fashion. Forcing 26 turnovers, India Lewis and Dana Cherry had 17 each as UA meted out its worst beating of a ranked team during the regular season on USC. Four days later, Shameka Christon poured in 21 to lead Arkansas past Vanderbilt as the Razorbacks controlled the game start to finish.

#8-#1 Texas 71, Arkansas 70
February 18, 1984
The Texas win that wasn’t. Arkansas scrapped with the top team in the nation, and got the opportunity of a lifetime with the ball and the clock running out at Barnhill Arena. Senior Amanda Holley’s baseline jumper hangs in the air, hits the bucket, rolls around the rim and falls out as the horn sounds. The Razorbacks will have three more close calls with their arch-rivals, but a basketball generation will pass before Texas falls in 1990.

#9-#22 ARKANSAS 90, UCLA 80 (OT)
March 14, 1990
Perhaps the most exciting overtime game in Arkansas history, the Razorbacks come back from a 10-point deficit late in the game to tie the contest and send it into overtime. Led by All-America candidate Rehema Stephens, UCLA had five players in double figures but the Bruins ran out of gas in the extra five minutes as Amber Nicholas (22 points) and Blair Savage (21 points) lead a 15-5 overtime run. Not only a memorable game, it was the first-ever win by Arkansas in the NCAA tournament and the first-ever NCAA tournament game hosted by Arkansas.

#10-Arkansas 79, Kansas 63
March 21, 1998
The Cinderella story comes to life as Arkansas holds All-American Lynn Pride of Kansas scoreless to rally from a 32-28 halftime deficit. Sytia Messer leads the charge with a 17-point second half effort as Arkansas dominates KU, 51-31, in the final 20 minutes. After shooting only 36% in the first half, UA blisters the Jayhawks for 63% in the second.

#11-#6 Texas 101, ARKANSAS 99
March 11, 1989
Quite simply, Southwest Conference fans say this may be the greatest championship game ever played-men or women-at the SWC Classic. The first-ever women’s basketball game at Reunion Arena did not disappoint as the two teams produced near-flawless games. Each committed a season-low eight turnovers, and the 200 points scored were school records for combined score for both. Trailing 51-46 at halftime, Arkansas responded with 52.8% from the field led by a career game by Lisa Martin with 31 points. Four of Arkansas’ starters were in double digits as Shelly Wallace added 20 points and 15 boards. Clarissa Davis saved the day with 36 for Texas.

#12-Arkansas 78, #10 Florida 69
March 2, 2001
Arkansas rode a 10-game losing streak to the Gators into the second round of the SEC Tournament, but freshman Shameka Christon had 22 points, 11 rebounds and four stitches as the Lady’Backs jumped on Florida early. Arkansas led by as many as 20 before Christon departed the game with a busted lip. She returned, but not before Florida closed to within seven. Behind 22 from Wendi Willits and 10 from Lonniya Bragg, Arkansas went on a 7-0 run late to advance to the SEC Tournament semifinals for the first time in school history.

#13-#18 ARKANSAS 73, #8 VANDERBILT 71 (OT)
February 19, 1995
Kelly Johnson said she had never hit a game-winner at the buzzer in her life. She didn’t get the chance to do so again in her career, but when Christy Smith laced the pass down low to Johnson, she buried the 15-foot baseline jumper as time expired to give Arkansas its first-ever win over Vandy. The photo, above, of Johnson’s shot has become one of the most requested classic images in women’s basketball history.

#14 – ARKANSAS 80, Mississippi State 73
March 4, 2005
Midway through the first half of Arkansas’ opening game at the SEC Tournament, Susie Gardner’s team looked headed for a blowout trailing by 17 points with 4:01 left in the first. Trimming the deficit to 11 at half, Arkansas held MSU scoreless almost four minutes to start the second and soon pulled within striking distance. A trio of sophomores led by Sarah Pfeifer were in double-digits to give Arkansas an eight-point lead with just under four minutes to play, a 25-point swing from the same point in the first half.

#15-ARKANSAS 66, #23 SMSU 63
December 29, 1993
There are few things better than beating a rival, and even better when it comes unexpectedly. First-year head coach Gary Blair drew up the play for his freshman three-point sharpshooter Kimberly Wilson. With seconds left, Wilson calmly stroked the winning shot, breaking an unprecedented two-year losing streak to SMS. Wilson became the Bear stalker, posting a 4-0 career mark with SMS.

#15-Calif. 66, Arkansas 62
March 21, 1982
Arkansas’ first appearance at a national tournament almost became its first win. The host Golden Bears hold off a pesky Arkansas team in the opening round of the 1982 AIAW Championships. Tied 29-29 at halftime, turnovers and fouls are the undoing of Arkansas. The Razorbacks had 31 turnovers-11 more than Cal-and leading scorer Bettye Fiscus fouls out with 17 points. Kim Bunge also has 17 points, but with four fouls.

#17-ARKANSAS 73, Ole Miss 72
January 2, 1993
The first major victory in the SEC as the former SWC Champion defeats the defending SEC Champion Lady Rebels. Shea Henderson is the star of the day as the Star City guard drives down the lane in the closing seconds to hit the game winner.

#18-Arkansas 97, OU 93 (OT)
March 14, 1999
Fort Cobb, Okla., product Wendi Willits takes over the Border War between UA and OU. The second round Women’s NIT match-up is a toe-to-toe physical battle. In the midst of a record-setting season of three-point shooting, Willits scores a career-high 35 points to lead Arkansas into the quarterfinals.

#19-#6 Vanderbilt 81, ARKANSAS 78
March 9, 2002
Shameka Christon had the greatest game at the University of Arkansas in over a generation, but her 40 points in 37 minutes played was not enough to overcome Vanderbilt at the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville for the SEC Tournament semifinals. At the start of the second half, it looked like there wouldn’t be much drama as Vandy extended its 44-26 halftime lead to 22-points, 52-30, with 17 minutes left. Then Christon took over, scoring a school record 28 points for a half. Arkansas cut the lead to one, 79-78, with 22 seconds left. Missed VU throws gave Arkansas the last shot, but with nine seconds to play Christon was called for a charge that allowed Vandy to shoot free throws for the final score.

January 8, 2006
Another Commodore OT heartache, but this one came in one of the most dramatic fashions as sophomore Brittney Vaughn sank the longest buzzer-beating shot in Walton Arena history to send this contest into OT. One of only three known end of the period half-court shots, Vaughn’s 47-footer is the only one to close regulation. Vaughn was scoreless for 39:30, but her driving reverse layup trimmed the Vandy lead to three, 46-43, to set the stage for her game-tying heave. The night proved “vaughn-derful” as her sister Rochelle scored a career-high tying 22 points, including a pair of free throws with 13 seconds left in the overtime period to ice the victory for Arkansas.

#21-Arkansas 82, #17 PSU 78
January 9, 1999
In its first appearance on CBS, Arkansas does not disappoint. Karyn Karlin dominated the Lady Lions in the paint, scoring 18 points almost at will as Arkansas built a 15-point lead with eight minutes to play. Penn State rallied, and with two minutes left led by two points. Wendi Willits to the rescue with a 21-footer to put Arkansas back up by one, then a steal on the ensuing PSU possession that lead to a pair of free throws. The 5-0 Willits run put Arkansas up by three with 50 seconds to play.

#22-Arkansas 45, #24 KENTUCKY 43
January 23, 1993
Undoubtedly the quirkiest win in Arkansas history. The Wildcats were returning to the top 25 for the first time in years, but the Razorbacks made sure the stay was short. It was an improbable win as Arkansas rode a five-game losing streak and was in jeopardy of losing three straight at home for the first time in school history. Defense was the key as Arkansas not only got the win, but did it in record-setting fashion. This was only the second game in Arkansas history in which no one was in double figures, and remains the only time Arkansas has won without a double-digit scorer. Shea Henderson led the team with nine points. Barnhill Arena and one of the Women’s Athletics Department’s W.A.R. (women’s attendance record) promotions share credit for the win. At 5,391, it ranked as the fourth largest crowd to watch the Razorbacks in Barnhill Arena.

#23-Arkansas 71, #16 GEORGIA 63
February 8, 2004
Arkansas rode a three-game home losing streak for only the second time in school history into an ESPN game with #16 Georgia, but Susie Gardner continued her coaching mojo against her alma mater as the Razorbacks controlled the close game from start to finish. With only eight players on the bench due to injuries, UA was led by Shameka Christon with 28 points, a double-double from Rochelle Vaughn with 11 points and 12 assists and a near-double of 14 points and 9 rebounds from Kristin Moore.

#24-Arkansas 59, Alabama 58
February 2, 2003
India Lewis was known for her three-point shooting, but in her career at Arkansas she had not hit a game-winner until this afternoon in Tuscaloosa. Arkansas struggled most of the game, no player more than Lewis who entered the final seconds 0-for-7 from the field. Down by two, Lewis took the ball to her right, feinted a drive then stepped back for a fall-away 22-footer as the horn sounded. The win proved a turning point for the conference season, ending a three-game losing streak.

#25-ARKANSAS 61, #25 SMSU 60
December 10, 1994
For the second straight year, Arkansas knocks off top 25 SMSU, but this time it’s in the Bears’ den before 7,490. While Kimberly Wilson led with 19, it was Stephanie Bloomer who was the heroine. Bloomer hit a pair of free throws with 16.5 seconds to play for the win. The 6-3 post had 16 points and 13 rebounds in the game. Arkansas trailed by 10 early, and got its first lead with 2:22 left off a driving layup by Allyson Twiggs.

#26-Arkansas 79, Oklahoma State 70
February 16, 1982
Coach Matilda Willis called it her “Champagne Game” in the pregame press, but Oklahoma State was not so willing to give up Arkansas’ first-ever 20-win season easily. It looked easy with a 43-29 lead at half, but the Cowgirls cut the spread to three, 69-66, with 3:17 to play. In turn, Bettye Fiscus, Connie Fitzgerald and Erma Greer stepped up with key buckets to pull away from OSU. For the game, Fiscus had 27, followed by Kim Bunge with 14 and Amanda Holley with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

#27– Arkansas 68, KSU 53
January 2, 1982
The first win for Arkansas over a top 20 ranked team. Bettye Fiscus and Amanda Holley turn in double-double games-Fiscus an amazing 20 points with 18 rebounds and Holley 12 points with 11 rebounds. Cheryl Orcholski shares top scoring honors with 20 points of her own.

#28-ARKANSAS 77, #25 Alabama 73
February 18, 1999
Arkansas had its Senior Day one game too late but the Razorbacks scored their first win ever at Coleman Coliseum with a 77-73 upset of 25th-ranked Alabama. Senior Sytia Messer scored a season high 21 points and senior Tennille Adams came off the bench for her second career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Alabama led by eight at halftime, but the lead wasn’t enough to hold off Arkansas. The Razorbacks outscored Bama, 45-33, in the second half. Alabama crept back to within one, but freshman Amy Wright responded with a three-pointer to make it a four-point bulge, 71-67.

#29-#14 ARKANSAS 76, #20 Texas 61
January 8, 1991
The rematch with Texas is more bust than dust-up as Delmonica DeHorney dominates the lane again and Amber Nicholas pours in the assists and outside shots. Arkansas controlled the game from tip to final horn. The win proves the victory previous year at Austin was not a fluke, and with Arkansas headed out of the SWC, this proves to be the only win over Texas at Barnhill Arena in school history. It results in the largest crowd at Barnhill Arena for a women’s basketball game-6,819 fans. When Bud Walton Arena opens, this figure is eclipsed by the growth of women’s basketball popularity thanks to the SEC.

#30-ARKANSAS 83, #11 Iowa 57
November 23, 1997
The Reebok Classic at the Fleet Center in Boston, Mass., was the scene of a mugging as Arkansas shredded the 11th-ranked Hawkeyes. Kamara Stancle scored 21 points in only her second game at Arkansas after transferring from Conners State JC. The Razorbacks defense forced 22 turnovers as Arkansas outrebounded the much taller Hawkeyes, 39-22. Tennille Adams picked up her first double-double of her career with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Leading 38-29 at half, the Razorbacks crushed Iowa with a 13-0 run early in the second half and held the Hawkeyes scoreless for 4:43.

Honorable Mention
ARKANSAS 78, Clemson 68
March 15, 2002
A game in the books as much for an individual as the team as Shameka Christon scores 36 points in 33 minutes to lead the Razorbacks in the NCAA first round. The loss was the first ever for Clemson under Jim Davies in the first round, and Christon’s 36-made more dramatic by an early first half injury that sidelined her for seven minutes-gave the sophomore the second most points scored in consecutive games (see Game #18) in school history.