GREENVILLE, S.C. – An explosive third quarter by the Florida Gators spelled doom for Arkansas as the Razorbacks ended their season with a 71-61 loss in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Wednesday.
The Razorbacks (13-17) were outscored 23-11 in the third quarter and suffered through a 19-2 Gator (15-15) run falling behind by a deficit they could not overcome.
Arkansas managed a mini-run holding Florida without a field goal for almost five minutes and cut the lead to single digits in the final frame but the Razorbacks were forced to foul and the Gators sealed the game at the line.
Seniors Jessica Jackson and Alecia Cooley ended their Razorback careers with Jackson scoring 10 points and grabbing five rebounds while Cooley added six points.
Arkansas finished shooting 35% going 25-for-72. The Razorbacks hit seven 3-pointers but only got to the line six times, making four bonus shots. Junior Devin Cosper and sophomore Bailey Zimmerman scored nine points each with Malica Monk and Keiryn Swenson added eight each for Arkansas.
The First Half
Arkansas trailed by as many as nine points in the second quarter but a renewed commitment to defense sparked the offense and the teams went into the locker room tied at 29-all.
Florida led by five, 26-21, with 3:43 to go in the second quarter but a jumper by Malica Monk closed the gap to three with just over two minutes to go in the period. Jackson next grabbed a defensive rebound and was fouled sending the senior to the line. She hit both bonus shots making it a one-point game with 1:42 to in the half.
Monk nabbed a steal, her second of the half, and kicked it out to Bailey Zimmerman who knocked down a 3-pointer giving Arkansas’ its first lead since the opening minutes of the game.
The Gators hit a short jumper and converted on one of two free throws with under a minute to go but Devin Cosper was fouled and make one free throw tying the game as the first half ended.
- Arkansas Starters: Jessica Jackson, Malica Monk, Keiryn Swenson, Jailyn Mason, Bailey Zimmerman
- Jessica Jackson scored in double figures for the 24th time this year and the 101st time in her career.
- Arkansas outscored Florida 16-9 in the second quarter.
- Arkansas’ bench outscored 24-6.
- There were eight lead changes and the game was tied five times.