Arkansas women open SEC tourney with win

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Arkansas hit six baskets in a row to start the second quarter taking control of the momentum in a win over Vanderbilt in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Razorbacks (13-17) move on to face No. 15 Texas A&M (22-8) in the second round after their 88-76 win over the Commodores. The game will tip at approximately 2:30 p.m. and air on the SEC Network.

The Razorbacks had four players in double figures paced by a career-day from sophomore Kiara Williams. The Little Rock, Arkansas, native scored 25 points shooting 11-for-13 from the floor. She added 10 rebounds picking up her fourth double-double of the season. Williams played a career-high 32 minutes and added a 3-for-3 performance from the line, one block and two steals.

Junior Malica Monk was also in double figures with 20 points including three 3-point field goals. Jailyn Mason added 14 points followed by 13 points from graduate student Devin Cosper and 12 points from junior Raven Northcross-Baker in the win.

Vanderbilt (7-24) opened the game strong with a 9-0 run before the first media timeout. They led, 20-13, after the first quarter as Arkansas finished the frame going 2-for-15.

The Razorbacks found a spark to start the second quarter jumping out on a 7-3 run including a coast-to-coast performance from Monk who grabbed a rebound, sprinted the floor for a layup and was fouled. She made the bonus shot and Arkansas was in control of the game.

The Commodores were solid for the rest of the game, tying the contest three times in the third quarter but Arkansas rallied each time eventually stretching the lead to as much as 18 points in the final frame.

Notes
• Arkansas has forced double figure turnovers in 26 games this season. They had Vanderbilt in double figure miscues with 10 with 2:30 to in the second quarter and finished with 20 for the game.
• Kiara Williams has scored in double figures in the first half in five games this season including a 10-point effort in the first 20 minutes against Vanderbilt. She also had seven rebounds and was 5-for-6 in the first half.
• Arkansas is 10-1 in games in which they lead at the half. The Razorbacks led Vanderbilt 37-32 at the break.
• Arkansas is 12-1 when leading going into the fourth quarter. The Razorbacks were up 66-57 heading into the final frame.
• Arkansas’ 29 third quarter points is the most in a single quarter this season.
• Today’s game was the second time this season we have had five players in double figures (Abilene Christian).
• Malica Monk has scored in double figures in 28 games and has had 10 games with 20 or more points this season.
• Jailyn Mason has scored in double figures 20 times this season and 29 times in her career. Today’s 14 points was her third consecutive game in double figures.
• Devin Cosper has had 20 games in double figures this year and Raven Northcross-Baker has had four games with 10 or more points.

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