Arkansas beats No. 10 Tennessee 72-71 in overtime

February 23, 2012 - 11:36 PM
Arkansas-Tennessee Basketball

Arkansas' C'eira Ricketts (22) works the ball while defended by Tennessee's Briana Bass (1) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Lyndsay Harris scored 20 points and hit a pair of free throws with 6 seconds left to help Arkansas beat No. 10 Tennessee 72-71 in overtime on Thursday night, handing the Lady Volunteers a program-record third home loss this season.

The Lady Razorbacks snapped an 18-game losing skid to Tennessee and became the second Southeastern Conference team this season to win in Knoxville, a place where the Lady Vols previously had not lost a conference game for nearly four years. South Carolina got its first win in Knoxville on Feb. 2.

For Tennessee, it was the third loss at home this season — the most the program has ever had in a season. The Lady Vols also lost to No. 1 Baylor on Nov. 27.

Shekinna Stricklen hit a layup for Tennessee with 48 seconds left to play to cut Arkansas' lead to 70-69. The Lady Vols got the ball back when Keira Peak lost it out of bounds under the Arkansas basket.

Peak fouled Stricklen, who missed both of her free throws with 10 seconds left. Kamiko Williams then fouled Harris, who sealed the win for Arkansas (21-6, 10-5 Southeastern Conference) at the foul line.

Peak then fouled Ariel Massengale to keep the Lady Vols from attempting a 3-pointer to tie the game. Massengale hit both of her foul shots, and Quistelle Williams missed a pair of free throws for Arkansas with 3 seconds left, but Stricklen couldn't get a half-court shot off before the buzzer sounded.

The Lady Vols held a 62-60 lead with 48 seconds left in regulation but let C'eira Ricketts run right by them and dish the ball to Sarah Watkins, who hit a layup to tie the game at 62 points with 9 seconds left and force overtime.

Watkins had 18 points, and Ricketts finished with 16 points.

Stricklen led Tennessee (20-8, 11-4) with 17 points, all scored after halftime. Glory Johnson scored all 13 of her points in the second half.

Both teams struggled with hanging on to the ball. Arkansas committed 21 turnovers and Tennessee 19.

The Lady Vols defense had some success frustrating the Lady Razorbacks, who committed four shot-clock violations.

But when Arkansas could get a shot off, it often was a good one. The Lady Razorbacks shot 11 of 19 in the first half and finished 50 percent from the floor.

Watkins drained a 3-point shot and followed with a long jumper to give Arkansas a 21-16 lead with 7:29 in the first half, and the Lady Razorbacks entered halftime with a 31-26 lead — nearly matching their points total in their 69-38 loss to the Lady Vols on Jan. 8.

Arkansas managed to keep Tennessee off the boards and out of the paint in the first half. The Lady Razorbacks outrebounded the Lady Vols 14-8 and limited them to 9-for-20 shooting before halftime.

Tennessee found some life after halftime from Stricklen and Johnson, who were a combined 0-for-4 with no rebounds in the first half.

Stricklen sank a pair of 3s to pull Tennessee within two points, and Ariel Massengale stole the ball from Ricketts and hit a layup to tie it at 44 points with 12:08 to go. Johnson came up with key rebounds and found her way to the rim and free-throw line to help the Lady Vols keep a slight edge until just before the end of regulation.

Tennessee had entered the game tied with Kentucky for first place in the SEC, but the Wildcats regained sole control of the conference with a win against South Carolina on Thursday night with one game left to play. The Lady Vols dropped to second place.

Arkansas moved into a tie for third place with Georgia.