In a neck-and-neck showdown running into the final seconds of the game, Arkansas barely edged out K-State 60-58 Wednesday night in Fayetteville, Ark.
Senior forward Ashley Sweat, who played all 40 minutes, nearly found a double-double with game-highs at 18 points and nine rebounds, but her efforts came up short.
Arkansas (5-1) held a slight advantage for the majority of the first half, but K-State (2-4) came back to take a five-point lead. Returning from halftime, the teams were held in a stalemate for a few minutes until the Wildcats picked up a small string of baskets. The Razorbacks, held to only eight points in 10 minutes, finally hit their stride and scored 13 consecutive points with nothing from K-State to pull within one, then scrapped together a few more for the win.
The Razorbacks were led in scoring by sophomore guard C’iera Ricketts, who had 16 points on 8-15 shooting, as well as a game-high six assists. Close behind was freshman forward Quistelle Williams, who recorded 10 points in just 13 minutes off the bench. Four players each grabbed three rebounds. As a team, Arkansas tallied twice as many steals as K-State.
Sophomore forward Jalana Childs and freshman guard Brittany Chambers rounded out the Wildcats’ rebound hold with seven and six, respectively. Collectively, K-State, which relied on four athletes to play the entire game, made half of its field goal attempts, but was hurt by a total of 17 turnovers.
Neither team could find a clear advantage throughout most of the first half, going nine minutes in an even match. A 3-pointer from freshman forward Dominique Robinson put the Razorbacks up 23-18, but a layup from Sweat and five points from senior guard Kari Kincaid returned the lead to K-State. With eight minutes remaining, the Wildcats pulled ahead with a 10-4 run to close the half at 35-30. Sweat and Chambers led the Wildcats with 10 points apiece, with Sweat hitting a perfect 4-4 on free throws alongside her standalone seven rebounds. For the Razorbacks, no player had yet reached double digits, but Ricketts recorded a strong four assists with a few field goals.
Halfway through the second half, the Wildcats put up another 15 points over Arkansas’ eight, keeping their lead 50-38. However, the Razorbacks narrowed the gap to 52-51 behind a few pivotal plays from Ricketts and Robinson. The teams traded baskets with K-State holding the lead until the 0:15 mark, where two points from Ricketts ended the game in favor of Arkansas behind three Wildcat fouls.
K-State will return from its streak of away games to host the Commerce Bank Wildcat Classic this weekend, featuring competition from Missouri State, the University of Texas at El Paso and Grambling State.