BATON ROUGE (ArkansasRazorbacks.com) - Led by a game-high 25 points from freshman Jessica Jackson, the University of Arkansas women's basketball team (18-9, 5-9 SEC) climbed back after trailing by as much as 15 points and upset No. 19/18 LSU (18-9, 7-7 SEC) in a 57-53 final at Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Sunday.
Jackson finished 47.3 percent from the field and scored 20 of her 25 points in the second half alone behind a career-high five 3-pointers. The win marked the first road win over a ranked team for the Razorbacks since beating No. 6/7 Tennessee in OT in Knoxville (2-23-12).
Shooting struggles were the story of the first half for the Razorbacks, who finished just 23 percent (7-for-30) from the floor. Jackson led the team with five points, but was just 1-for-4 from 3-point range. LSU also out-rebounded UA 29-to-15 in the first half, including 13 rebounds coming off the offensive glass alone. Despite poor shooting, a 7-0 run late in the first half helped the Razorbacks settle in, breathe easier and cut the LSU lead to 16-10 by the 6:05 mark. UA's shooting improved to 16 percent (3-for-19), as Jackson and Keira Peak led the team with three points a piece. LSU missed three straight field goals over the stretch and were forced into four turnovers by the UA defense. Melissa Wolff came off the bench late in the half and got scrappy inside, coming up with two big, offensive rebound putbacks and helping UA hang in the game at 21-14 with 3:30 to play in the half.
An 8-2 run led single handedly by Theresa Plaisance helped LSU extend its lead to a commanding 27-14 mark with just over a minute to play in the half. A 3-pointer from Calli Berna helped give UA a little momentum and make it just a 10-point deficit heading into the locker room.
In the second half, Arkansas put together a 9-0 run to help trim the lead to single digits at 32-26 with 15:30 to play. Bria Pitts came off the bench and had an impact in the push, finding her range from outside and scoring an SEC career-high nine points on the day in 15 minutes. Jackson and the Razorbacks continued to climb back into the game, as Jackson led an 8-0 run that included back-to-back triples from the freshman to give UA its first lead at 42-39 with 6:09 to play. A contested game down the stretch, it was Jackson who rose to the occasion and took over, as the Hogs pulled out the upset behind 20 second-half points from the freshman.
QUOTING HEAD COACH TOM COLLEN
"It was a great win for our program today," Tom Collen said. "We told our players that we were only down 10 at the half and that if we would commit to our defense the offense would come. Several of our young players stepped up and contributed and this is a great team victory."