STARKVILLE, Miss. (UofA) – Senior Ashley Daniels scored her first double-double of the season with 10 points and 14 rebounds as the University of Arkansas posted a school-record eight blocks in a 51-35 win over Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss., Thursday.
The win moves Arkansas to 15-5 overall and 4-4 in the Southeastern Conference while State falls to 13-7 overall and 3-4 in the league. Daniels' 10 points is her fourth consecutive game in double figures.
"We made the decision to go into a zone and it was a difference-maker for us," Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. "On offense we were able to spread them out a bit and get the ball inside in the second half. We had to dribble-penetrate them and we made enough good plays to win."
The win is the fourth consecutive win for Arkansas and the Razorbacks return home hosting three in a row as the season continues.
To say it was a slow start early is an understatement. Neither team's offense was good, and it took Arkansas until the 2:04 mark in the first half to get the lead, 18-17. The comeback erased an eight-point Mississippi State lead in the first half. Freshman Calli Berna hit a three at the buzzer to push the lead to five at the break.
State had seven blocks and Arkansas had five at the break and both teams had 11 turnovers each at the halfway mark. Arkansas was just 1-for-5 from the free throw line, an area of the game that had been a strength for the Razorbacks in the first seven games.
Arkansas changed up the offense a bit to start the second half and began to dribble-penetrate and it put Mississippi State on their heels. C'eira Ricketts, who was scoreless in the first half, got a spark and scored a team-leading 14 points by the final buzzer. She had two steals and now needs just eight more to overtake the school record.
Junior Sarah Watkins finished with five blocks and Daniels added two for Arkansas. The Razorbacks shot 30.8% on 20-for-65 from the floor. Arkansas hit just two three pointers and struggled from the line, going 9-for-17 in the game. Watkins had eight points and 10 rebounds in the win.
"Statistically it wasn't a pretty game," Collen said, "but we hung in there and we are happy to go home with the win."
For more information regarding Razorback women's basketball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
-Arkansas is 17-12 all-time against Mississippi State including 6-7 in Starkville
-Arkansas won the game here last year
-Arkansas hosts Florida, who had a bye Thursday, on Sunday at 2 p.m.