Watkins goes for 28 in Arkansas feat


OXFORD, Miss. — Arkansas senior Sarah Watkins dropped in a career-best 28 points leading the Razorbacks to a 77-66 Southeastern Conference win against Ole Miss on Thursday.

Watkins was 11-for-15, going 6-for-7 from the line and pulling in five rebounds helping the Razorbacks (15-6, 3-5 SEC) to just the second-ever win in Oxford, Miss., in program history.

“Sarah was tough tonight,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “We need games like that from her as we continue through the SEC season. That was our game plan going in as we knew Ole Miss was not big inside.”

Ole Miss took the early lead with the hot shooting hand in the opening 10 minutes of play. The Lady Rebels’ aggressive trapping defense prevented Arkansas from getting the ball inside and Ole Miss forced the Razorbacks to handle the ball away from the basket.

Arkansas, meanwhile, started the game 4-for-13 from the floor as Ole Miss (8-13, 1-7 SEC) opened the lead. A media timeout allowed the Razorbacks to make some adjustments and they put together a 6-for-7 run in 4 minutes closing within one, 23-23.

The Razorbacks tied the game at 25 when Keira Peak drove the lane, was fouled and hit the bonus shot. The contest was much more closely contested for the rest of the half despite foul trouble for both teams. The game see-sawed back-and-forth before Arkansas grabbed the lead again on a basket from Peak, at the 3:30 mark.

Arkansas maintained the lead going into the locker room with a 38-35 advantage. The 38 points is the highest point total in an SEC game this season.

Watkins was tough under the hoop in the final 12 minutes in the opening stanza. The Germantown, Tenn., native scored a game-high 16 points and finished with just one foul in the first 20 minutes.