Lady Backs upset No. 17 Kansas at Walton Arena
FAYETTEVILLE - Unbeaten 17th-ranked Kansas is unbeaten no more and apt to fall in next week's women's basketball rankings.
Unranked Arkansas upset the Jayhawks, 64-56 in Thursday night's nonconference game before 1,356 at Walton Arena.
Arkansas overcame Kansas leads in both halves, surpassing the Jayhawks 33-24 at intermission but twice trailing KU by one in the second half before Jhasmin Bowen's layup put Arkansas up, 46-45 with 7:15 left and never trailing again.
"It's a big win for a lot of reasons," Arkansas Coach Tom Collen said, his Razorbacks now 8-1 losing only to 13th-ranked Oklahoma, 73-70 in Hawaii while Kansas drops to 7-1. "I think it's important to make a statement to themselves that beating a team of this caliber makes. At the end of the year NCAA Tournament selection time this will be a big win."
Forward Quistelle Williams, with 11 second-half points, paced Arkansas with 15 points.
Senior center Sarah Watkins came off the bench to score 14, 10 in the first half. Forward Keira Peak scored 12 with a game-leading 10 rebounds.
Williams and Bowen grabbed nine boards as Arkansas shocked the bigger Jayhawks erasing them, 47-31 on the boards.
"We really rebounded the ball well and boxed out and hit the offensive boards. Twenty offensive boards was huge for us. Our defensive effort was really good. They knew what they needed to do and stepped up and did it. We stopped the inside game and were going to make them beat us with the 3-ball."
Kansas hit 10 of 25 treys including 5 of 12 by point guard Angel Goodrich, the game's leading scorer with 21 despite playing through foul trouble and turnover problems (seven).
Arkansas only made 2 of 16 treys but the Razorbacks more than sufficed on the boards, Kansas Coach Bonnie Hendrickson said.
"We gave up all those offensive rebounds and we struggled to get 10 offensive rebounds," Hendrickson said "We weren't aggressive and give them credit. They played hard. We got back in it but when they threw their punch we didn't have an answer."
Arkansas sophomore point guard Calli Berna scored 11 and sealed the game hitting 5 of 6 free throws in the final 36 seconds.
Arkansas freshman reserve Melissa Wolff provided an offensive flurry in the first half and solid defense both halves, Collen said.
Collen and Quistelle Williams said Williams only played one real half but this night against Kansas that sufficed.
"Coach Tom Collen chewed me out halftime," Williams said.
"Q started off the game catching my fury," Collen said. "But ultimately you look at what she accomplished in the second half she might have been the MVP."
Kansas always led or tied the first half until Wolff's 3-pointer put Arkansas up 17-16 at 7:54.
A Wolff steal and feed to Watkins for a jumper upped it to 19-16 with a Peak jumper making it 21-16 before Kansas next scored.
Point guard Berna's 3-pointer peaked the lead at nine, 33-24 with 2:20 left. It literally "Peaked" again at nine with Peak's two free throws 19 seconds before the intermission with Arkansas up 33-24.
Arkansas shocked Kansas on the first-half boards, 24-14 and committed seven first-half turnovers to Kansas' 11.
Watkins (10), Wolff (5) and Kelsey Hatcher (2) produced off the bench 17 of Arkansas' 33 first-half points while Peak's seven led the starters.
The Razorbacks women break for final exams and next play Dec. 16 at Furman.