#24 Texas A&M Hands #23 Lady Razorbacks SEC Loss

Courtesy UofA Athletics Department

FAYETTEVILLE — The No. 23 University of Arkansas Lady Razorbacks basketball team fell in a tough battle to the No. 24 Texas A&M Aggies, 63-51, in front of 2,801 fans at Bud Walton Arena. The Razorbacks fell to 12-3, 0-2 SEC, while Texas A&M improved to 12-4, 2-0 SEC.

The Razorbacks were led by senior Sarah Watkins, who posted a game-high 19 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Watkins was especially strong in the second half, posting 15 points and seven rebounds in the final frame. Keira Peak added 11 points and Calli Berna added seven assists. Arkansas also forced 24 turnovers.

“I thought our kids battled to the end,” Collen said. “We got the shots we wanted and we won the turnover battle.”

Texas A&M jumped out to a big lead out of the gate led with some hot shooting. The Aggies made seven of their first 11 shots to jump out to a 20-6 lead halfway through the first period. After senior Quistelle Williams got the Razorbacks on the board with an early three, the Aggies answered with a 14-3 run.

An 11-8 run before halftime helped the Razorbacks cut into the lead. After facing a 22-6 deficit, the Razorbacks were boosted by four points by Watkins and three from freshman Dominique Wilson, as well as strong defensive plays by Peak and Berna to cut the lead to 13 points at halftime.

The Razorbacks pressured the Aggies in the first half, forcing 13 turnovers. They were outrebounded 17-12. The Aggies used strong shooting to take their halftime lead, making 59.1percent of their shots, while the Razorbacks shot only 24 percent from the field.

In the second half, the Razorback defense stepped up to limit the Aggies’ shooting from the field. Texas A&M opened the half shooting 1-10, and Arkansas went on an 11-1 run to cut the lead to eight at 36-28 six minutes into the half.

The two teams traded runs back and forth down the stretch. A&M responded with a 7-0 run to extend the lead to 43-28 with 12 minutes to play. The Razorbacks answered back with a 9-0 run of their own. The run was capped by a long jumper by Watkins, and cut the lead to eight with 8:37 to play.

However, the Aggies answered again, responding with a 13-4 run to extend their lead. The Razorbacks fought the Aggies until the end, outscoring them in the second half. However, Arkansas could not overcome the early deficit and fell in their SEC home opener 63-51.

The Razorbacks are back in action on Thursday when they host LSU at 7 p.m. at Bud Walton Arena.