FAYETTEVILLE (ArkansasRazorbacks.com) - Jessica Jackson recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 19 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, but the University of Arkansas women's basketball team (15-7, 2-7 SEC) saw its lead evaporate in the second half to Auburn (12-10, 3-6 SEC) and fell 56-48 at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark., on Sunday.
Fellow freshman McKenzie Adams chimed in with nine points, which marked her most since scoring 18 points at home against Mississippi State on Jan. 12. It was not enough, however, as the Tigers closed with an 18-2 run and left with the win.
It was a rough shooting start for the Razorbacks, who came out cold at just 13 percent from the floor and struggled to find a rhythm offensively. Auburn took its largest lead at 13-7 with 11:17 to play in the half. The Tigers got themselves rolling early by finding their range from distance and converting 4-of-8 shots from three-point range.
Arkansas built a 14-3 run to regain a 20-16 lead with under 5:30 to play, which marked its first lead since the opening minutes of the contest. The Razorbacks also improved their shooting percentage to 33 (7-21 FG), as freshmen Jackson and Adams combined for over half the team's points. Jackson also recorded five rebounds in the first half, which was a significant display of effort for the freshman that came in averaging just over six a game.
Melissa Wolff provided a great stretch of play coming off the bench for Arkansas in the second. The sophomore had six rebounds (four offensive), two points, two assists, one steal and one block in 17 minutes of play. Arkansas held to a 31-26 lead with 11:30 to play. The Razorbacks were shooting just 28 percent as a group, while the Tigers were 27 percent themselves.
Despite Auburn's bench outscoring the reserves of Arkansas 19-to-4, the scoring efforts of Jackson kept Arkansas out in front late in the game, including a 39-33 lead with 8:27 to play. Jackson upped her total to 16 points on 41 percent shooting, also hauling in 12 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season.
It became a game of free throws late, with a combined 38 fouls called between both teams and Arkansas looking to hold onto its second-half lead. After the Razorbacks led by as much as nine points, the Tigers fought all the way back, fueled by an 8-0 run over a two-minute stretch, to tie the game at 46-46 with 2:00 to play.
The game tied, things unraveled late for the Razorbacks as the group committed 12 turnovers in the second half alone after just three mistakes in the first half. AU outscored UA 36-21 in the second half, including a three-pointer from Khady Dieng with 1:05 to play that gave them a late 51-48 lead.
Arkansas finished the game shooting just 32 percent, while Auburn was 31 percent from the field.
Arkansas was outscored 36-to-21 in the second half, shooting just 28.6 percent and 0 percent from three-point range in the second half. As a result, the Tigers closed the game on an 18-2 run and stole the road win.
STAT OF THE GAME
Arkansas committed just three turnovers in the first half, but then lost the ball 14 times in the second half, which helped fuel the late comeback by the Tigers. Auburn recorded 14 points off of turnovers. It was the first time this season Arkansas has turned the ball over more than its opponent.
QUOTING COACH TOM COLLEN
""We can't make excuses for ourselves right now. We handled the pressure pretty well for the most part, but then in the last 10 minutes they extended a bit more and we lost our confidence. It's disappointed. I think it really comes back to the turnovers. Once you see that lead slipping away from you, you've got to be pretty mentally tough to stop it and get it back."