WACO, Texas – Down 13 midway through the second half, Arkansas put the clamps on Northwestern to roll to a 57-55 victory in the first round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship on Friday afternoon at the Ferrell Center.
The Razorbacks blanked the Wildcats over the game's final four minutes. They tied it on Jhasmin Bowen's layup with 1:11 left at 55, then got the lead when Jessica Jackson split two free throws with 30.5 seconds left.
Arkansas (18-13) had chances to make it easier in the final seconds, but four missed free throws in the final half minute – two on the front end of one-and-ones – gave Northwestern life. Kelsey Brooks added one free throw with 3.4 seconds left to set the final margin.
Arkansas advances to a Sunday game, against the winner of a game between Baylor and Northwestern State.
Melissa Wolff missed two one-and-ones in the final 30 seconds, but was the star in the comeback with 13 points and 15 rebounds. She played all 40 minutes and grabbed nine offensive rebounds, including a key miss on a free throw to help the Razorbacks kill most of the last 30 seconds.
Northwestern broke free from a halftime deadlock to dominate the paint for a 13-point lead, but Arkansas regained momentum with its defense, contesting all shots and coming up with four steals down the stretch. The Wildcats managed only three shots in the final three minutes as the Razorbacks dominated possession time with offensive rebounds and steals.
Kelsey Brooks led the way with 15 points, Jackson added 14 and Jhasmin Bowen added 12 as the Razorbacks put four players into double figures.
Arkansas Women Rally Past Northwestern
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