FAYETTEVILLE – A balanced effort lifted the University of Arkansas women’s basketball to its third consecutive win with a 67-59 Southeastern Conference win over Ole Miss in Bud Walton Arena Thursday.
The win is the first SEC win in Bud Walton and the fourth of the year.
“That was a good win,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “I’m happy for the players and the fans. We’re getting better. People forget Ashley Daniels is just a sophomore because she’s our most experienced post player.”
A blue collar first half for Arkansas sent the Razorbacks into the break with a 37-33 lead. Arkansas shot nearly 52 percent going 15-for-29 behind 11 points from Daniels in the first frame.
As the second half started, Arkansas had an eight-point advantage. The Razorbacks stretched that to 10 with 8:21 to play.
But Ole Miss managed to chip away behind the hot hand of Elizabeth Robertson with 20 points on a 6-for-11 effort from beyond the arc.
The Lady Rebels closed within three, 57-54, with just over five minutes to play. Daniels responded with a jumper followed by a long two from Ford as the lead again grew to seven points.
“Arkansas played extremely well,” Ole Miss head coach Renee Ladner. “They made the big plays down the stretch. They are playing extremely loose and feeling good about themselves. Arkansas has the momentum in their favor and that’s hard to stop.”
Ole Miss hit a three closing the margin to four points but Ford answered with a three of her own keeping the Lady Rebels at arm’s length.
As the half closed, Harris hit a pair a free throws and Daniels finished with a two-pointer giving Arkansas the eight-point win.
Arkansas played an in-the-paint first half scoring 24 points in the red in the opening 20 minutes. The Razorbacks shifted the game plan going to the perimeter in the second, with 17 points off Ole Miss turnovers and 14 bench points.
“Charity stuck some really big shots down the stretch,” Collen said. “That’s what seniors do. She really rose up tonight.
“This team reset its goals and wants to finish strong and see where that takes us,” Collen said.
Arkansas plays its final home game of the 2009-10 season Sunday hosting Alabama for Senior Day and Pink Day beginning at 2 p.m.