GAINESVILLE, Fla. (ArkansasRazorbacks.com) – Jessica Jackson led a furious comeback with 19 points in the second half,, but it was not enough as the No. 25 University of Arkansas women's basketball team (14-2, 1-2 SEC) fell 59-52 to Florida (13-3, 3-0 SEC) Thursday night at The O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla.
HOW IT HAPPENED: A strong defensive effort by Arkansas and shooting display from McKenzie Adams helped the Razorbacks fend off early shooting woes and generate a 17-9 run that helped them enter the break tied at 24. Averaging 17.3 turnovers a game, the Gators were forced into 13 first-half turnovers by the NCAA-leading scoring defense of UA. Adams scored 15 first half points on 60 percent shooting (6-10 FG), including 3-for-7 three-point shooting.
Despite the continued efforts of Adams and a second-half scoring tear from fellow freshman Jessica Jackson, the overall shooting problems of the Razorbacks punched a hole in the team's comeback bid. Arkansas had a 9:16 scoring drought in the half, until Jackson finally put an end to the stretch and got the Razorbacks back on the board with a three-pointer at the 7:34 mark. Jackson and Adams combined to score all of the team's final 18 points--including 14 straight from Jackson alone--but it was not enough as the Razorbacks fell 59-52. Arkansas shot just 29 percent in the second half as a group and 32.1 percent on the night.
QUOTING COACH COLLEN: "I thought we played great defensively and came in with the right game plan," said head coach Tom Collen. "We've just got to find a way to score with the basketball more. I'm proud of those two freshmen, Jessica Jackson and McKenzie Adams, who both stepped up and had 23 points. But, we didn't get more than one basket from any other player on our team except for Melissa Wolff. We had shots we could've made, but just didn't put them in."
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Coming off five points against South Carolina and eight points against Missouri, McKenzie Adams put on a show offensively for Arkansas, scoring 15 points in the first half alone and going on to finish with a game and career high 23 points. Fellow freshman Jessica Jackson deserves honorable mention, also tying for a game-high 23 points and besting her prior career mark (22 points). Jackson posted her second career double-double grabbing 10 boards as well.
STATISTICS: > The Gators came in averaging 81.1 points per game, but were held to a season-low 59 points by the Razorbacks. Arkansas ranks No. 1 in the NCAA for scoring defense, allowing just 46.7 points per contest.
> The Gators shot just 17.6 percent from three-point range. Arkansas ranks seventh in the NCAA and second in the SEC for field-goal percentage defense and has held opponents to 33.1 percent shooting this season.
> Arkansas has shot better than 40 percent in 11 games so far this season, but was held to just a 32.1 percent performance by Florida.
> McKenzie Adams came in averaging 9.9 points per game, but scored 15 alone in the first half and finished with a game and career-high 23 points for Arkansas. The freshman finished the night with five three-point baskets.
> Jessica Jackson scored a career-high 23 points and added 10 rebounds for the second double-double of her season. The freshman reached double-digit scoring for the 15th time in 16 games this season and has done so in 10 straight games.
NEXT UP: Arkansas returns home and welcomes Mississippi State to Bud Walton Arena. The Razorbacks and Bulldogs are scheduled to tip off at 2 p.m. Sunday.
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