FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (ArkansasRazorbacks.com) – Jessica Jackson scored a career-high 31 points hitting a key three-pointer late in the game lifting the University of Arkansas women's basketball team to a 68-65 win over Ole Miss in Bud Walton Arena Sunday. The win moves Arkansas to 15-4 overall and 2-4 in the SEC while
Ole Miss falls to 9-10 overall and 0-5 in league play.
Jackson opened the game with 18 points in the first half and continued her hot shooting early in the second frame as the Razorbacks ran out to a 16-point lead and seemed to have the game in hand.
Ole Miss rallied however, going on a 20-1 run as the Razorbacks went ice cold from the floor with an 0-for-12 stretch over eight minutes in the game. The Lady Rebels had a seven-point lead with 7:10 to play in the game and Arkansas seemed to be in some trouble.
Arkansas kept chipping away at the Ole Miss advantage until Jackson hit a step-back three with 4:34 to go that tied the game at 57 and shifted the momentum back to the Razorback side of the floor.
A back-and-four battle down the stretch, Arkansas was down one when Ole Miss committed a reach in foul that sent Jackson to the line. She calmly hit both bonus shots giving Arkansas the 66-65 advantage with 37 seconds left in regulation.
Ole Miss missed a long attempt and sophomore Melissa Wolff grabbed a big defensive rebound and was fouled on the play. She hit both of her free throws sealing the win for the Razorbacks.
Wolff finished with 14 points and eight rounds behind Jackson's double-double with 31 points and 10 boards. Sophomore Jhasmin Bowen was solid with 11 points and four boards while junior point guard Calli Berna had 12 assists and second rounds for the Razorbacks in the win.
Ole Miss rallied in the second half with a 20-1 run as the Razorbacks went cold going 0-12 early in the frame. Arkansas surrendered the lead and Ole Miss took advantage of an eight-plus minute scoring drought by the Razorbacks. The Razorbacks were just 3-for-19 through the first 12 minutes of the second half. Ole Miss erased a 16-point Arkansas lead and took a seven-point advantage but Arkansas wouldn't surrender. The Razorbacks tied the game at 57-all at the 4:34 and outscored Ole Miss 11-8 down the stretch for the win.
Players of the Game
Jessica Jackson scored a career-high 31 points and had 10 rebounds leading Arkansas to the win. Jackson was 11-for-22 from the floor including 5-for-7 from three-point range and 4-for-6 from the line. She had three assists and two steals for the Razorbacks.
Melissa Wolff tied her career best with 14 points and had eight rebounds in 24 minutes. Her timely rebound and clutch free throws late in the game were key in the Razorback win.
Quoting Coach Tom Collen
"Well obviously that is a good win for us. We have lost a couple of these close games but tonight we found a way to battle and get a win and that is what this team needs. We have to learn to win in these tough situations. We got a little bit rattled but got our composer back and made some plays to get a win that we really needed."
"Every team in the league plays them zone but we have a lot of pride in our man-to-man so we really wanted to guard them in man if we could. We jumped in a 3-2 zone in the last couple of possessions and that threw them off at the end of the game."
- With the 68-65 win over Ole Miss, Arkansas has now played six SEC games this season and all have been decided by seven points or less. The Razorbacks lost to No. 13/12 South Carolina by four, defeated Missouri by three, fell at Florida by seven and lost at home to Mississippi State by four and at Georgia by two before today's game.
- Ole Miss averages 76.2 points per game and was held to 65 points by Arkansas. The No. 2 NCAA scoring defense of the Razorbacks has held opponents to a season-low scoring total 11 times this season.
- The Razorbacks have now held 14 of 19 opponents this season to more turnovers than field goals.
- Jessica Jackson reached double-digit scoring for the 17th time in 19 games this season, scoring a career-high 31 points. Jackson has scored 20+ points in four games this season. She was 11-for-22 from the floor – both career-bests and hit five three-pointers, also a career-high. She had 10 rebounds marking her third career double-double.
- With the win, Arkansas snapped a three game losing streak and has a bye week with no game this Thursday.
- Tom Collen is 345-153 overall in 16 seasons as a head coach and 129-83 in seven years at Arkansas.