FAYETTEVILLE, AR (arkansasrazorbacks.com)
– Behind four players in double-figure scoring, the University of Arkansas women's basketball team defeated visiting LSU Sunday afternoon at Bud Walton Arena, 63-41. Sophomore Kelsey Brooks poured in a game-high 20 points to help the Razorbacks improve to 16-10 and 6-8 in Southeastern Conference play. Arkansas has won five of its last seven.
LSU falls to 15-11 and 9-5 in league action. The Tigers entered Sunday's game having won five of their last six overall.
Sunday was the sixth time overall and third time in conference play Brooks surpassed the 20-point mark. Eleven of her points came in the first half as Arkansas built a 32-24 halftime edge.
The Razorbacks connected on 4-of-6 field goals while opening the game on a 10-0 run. A pair of triples from Brooks and five points from sophomore Jessica Jackson spurred Arkansas to a 17-2 lead 6:29 into the game. The Razorbacks would not look back from their hot start, going wire-to-wire in the win.
Jackson poured in 17 points, the 20th time this season she's been in double-digits and the sixth straight. In addition to her scoring, Jackson hauled in a career-high 13 rebounds to record her fourth double-double of the season and ninth career.
All five starters had five or more rebounds, as Arkansas outrebounded its 16th opponent of the season. Junior Melissa Wolff finished with nine, senior Jhasmin Bowen had eight and Brooks and senior Calli Berna each had five apiece from their guard positions.
Brooks and Jackson entered Sunday's game combining for nearly 30 points per contest and the two sophomores exceeded that total, pairing together for 37 points and marking the 11th time the duo has combined for over 30 points this season.
Arkansas opened the second half on a 9-3 spurt to push its lead up to double digits. LSU continued to hang around and trimmed the lead down to eight following a three from DaShawn Harden with 7:12 remaining. The Razorbacks had an answer and would not allow the Tigers any closer, engaging in a 13-0 run keyed by six points from Brooks to open up a 21-point lead with 1:20 remaining.
Senior Jhasmin Bowen tallied 13 points on 50 percent shooting from the field to anchor the blocks. Arkansas finished with 28 points in the paint.
Wolff was the fourth Razorback in double figures, finishing with an efficient 12 points on 4-of-7 from the field.
Berna aided in helping four Razorbacks have 10 or more points, as she equaled a season-high nine assists.
Arkansas shot 45 percent from the floor while holding LSU to 27. Forty-one points is the lowest output of the season for the Tigers.
Harden led LSU in scoring with 14 points while Danielle Ballard added 13.
The Razorbacks host No. 11/10 Kentucky in their home finale and penultimate game of the season Thursday on Senior Night. Tip is set for 7 p.m. on SEC Network+.
“I knew we were ready to play. This team is so resilient and tough. I really challenged them before this game to have a bigger heart and I thought we did. It shows up in our rebounds. This was a very good LSU ball club we faced this afternoon. I am really happy with our defense, LSU shot 27 percent from the floor.
We kept driving the ball. We only took 12 three-point shots. We're not a great three-point shooting club. Today we took great three-point shots; we got five of them to go. I am very disappointed in our free throw shooting. We missed half the free throws we shot and a lot of them were one-and-ones. We gave away easily 14, 15,16 points. We got a very good win from a meaningful ball game. On February 22, Arkansas played in a meaningful game, played well in the game, and got a good win over a good LSU team.
I have no hesitation in my belief in Kelsey Brooks. All of us go through a rough stretch at times and I challenged her, knowing how she would respond. I love that kid, she has really stepped up from kid who didn't start last year, now she's one of the better players on this team. It's a really good win for us today. I want to tell all the fans who came out, over 3,000 here, for a great cause. Breast cancer awareness is so important; I loved getting my picture taken with the survivors here today. I told our players before the game there are some women here who have fought for their lives to beat cancer, all I am asking you to do is go out and beat LSU and we got that done today.”
POST GAME NOTES
- Sophomores Jessica Jackson and Kelsey Brooks each scored 11 in the first half, the second time this season the duo has both been in double digits at halftime.
- Brooks (20) and Jackson (17) combined for 37 points, the 11th time this season the duo has been over 30 points.
- Jackson finished with 17 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, her fourth double-double of the season and ninth career
- Brooks poured in 20 points, the sixth time this season she's been over 20 points and the 14th game she's led the team in scoring
- Brooks played all 40 minutes, the third time she's been on the floor for 40+ minutes this season.
- Senior Calli Berna matched a season-high with nine assists. She has dished out at least four assists in all 14 conference games this season and has had seven or more in each of the last three.
- Arkansas outrebounded its 16th opponent of the season and improves its record to 13-3 when doing so.
- The Razorbacks led wire-to-wire for the third time this season (Auburn Jan. 29, Georgia Feb. 9)
- Ten offensive rebounds turned into 15 second-chance points for Arkansas
- Senior Jhasmin Bowen finished with 13 points, the fifth time in the last six games she's been in double-digits
- Arkansas held LSU to a season-low 41 points on 27.4 percent shooting.