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Last second shot sinks Arkansas

LSU hit a three-pointer with eight seconds left on the clock escaping with a 41-40 win over the University of Arkansas at the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville, Tenn., Friday.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – LSU hit a three-pointer with eight seconds left on the clock escaping with a 41-40 win over the University of Arkansas at the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville, Tenn., Friday.

Despite poor shooting Arkansas (22-8) had led much of the second half up by seven with 1:59 left in the game.

But LSU (21-9) closed the game with an 8-0 run to steal the win from the Razorbacks.

“Of course we are disappointed,” said Arkansas head coach Tom Collen. “It was a heartbreaking loss but I know this team will learn from it. They still have a lot of basketball left to play and I know that we can grow from this experience.”

Arkansas was cold to start the game, opening 0-16 through the first 11:18 minutes of the contest. The Razorbacks continued to play well on the defensive side of the ball however, not letting LSU get too far away.

Ashley Daniels hit the first Arkansas basket of the half at the 8:44 mark and quickly made it two in a row along with two free throws as the Tigers called timeout leading 12-6.

The teams traded baskets but the Razorbacks began to find their offense. Trailing by eight at the 5:22 media timeout, The Razorbacks got a turnover and Lynday Harris hit a three, the first of the game for the Razorbacks. Arkansas forced another turnover and trailed by five, 16-11, as the clock ticked under four minutes.

Harris was fouled driving to the hoop and hit two free throws followed by a steal by C’eira Ricketts. Ricketts drove and was fouled as well and she hit two, cutting the lead to one, 16-15, with 3:15 on the clock.

The teams traded misses until Ricketts hit a three-pointer with 1:52 on the clock giving Arkansas its first lead, 18-16.

LSU closed the half with a field goal and a free throw and the Razorbacks trailed, 19-18. Despite the slow start and poor shooting, Arkansas was 5-for-29 for 17.2 percent at the break, the Razorbacks forced 16 Tiger turnovers and had eight steals overcoming a 10-point deficit in the first frame.

The second half was decidedly more physical and Arkansas found its posts in foul trouble early in the frame. Despite the dangers, the Razorbacks continued to apply pressure at all possessions and LSU struggled to take care of the ball.

The Arkansas lead was five, 25-20, at the first media timeout of the second half and the harried pace never slowed. Collen began platooning players getting great minutes from Quistelle Williams, Jamesha Townsend, Calli Berna and Keira Peak as the relentless pressure never stopped.

The fatigue showed on both teams as they played back-to-back games for the first time since early in the season. Arkansas’ cold shooting touch returned as the Razorbacks suffered through a nearly four-minute scoring drought late in the game. But as they had to start the game, Arkansas held LSU without much offense during that same stretch as they clung to the lead.

Arkansas had the game seemingly in reach when Ricketts hit back-to-back jumpers giving the Razorbacks a 40-33 lead with 1:59 to play.

The tigers, however, hit a three from Adrienne Webb, just their second of the evening, closing within four. Arkansas committed a turnover and the Tigers scored again with a layup in the paint making it 40-38 with just 41 seconds left on the clock.

The Razorbacks missed a jumper and LSU rebounded going the distance of the court. The Tigers kicked the ball out to Webb who hit from long distance for the second time all but sealing the comeback win.

Arkansas had nine ticks on the clock and drove the full length of the floor but the layup clipped the rim and fell out.

Arkansas wraps up the regular season Thursday on the road at SIU-Edwardsville.

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