Howard Sinks Winning Free Throw

FAYETTEVILLE -- On Jan. 5 when the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks traveled to play Mississippi State, Leslie Howard's only floor time came in the pre-game shootaround.

In Sunday's 52-51 overtime win over No. 20 Vanderbilt, she made the most of her minutes.

Because of matchup concerns, Arkansas coach Susie Gardner kept Howard on the bench in the Lady'Backs' 66-45 blowout of Mississippi State.

On Sunday, Vanderbilt like to employ more of a zone defensive attack, which would allow Howard, who is as pure a shooter as Arkansas has on its roster, to have some looks at the basket.

"As soon as the Mississippi State game was over I told her, 'You didn't play tonight, but get ready to play Vanderbilt.'"

Howard came to play.

The 5-10 junior transfer from Colorado, led Arkansas with nine points on 3-of-5 shooting, all from 3-point range, at halftime where the Lady'Backs took a 24-19 advantage.

Howard would finish the game with a team-high 13 points, including the game-winning free throw with 2.1 seconds remaining in overtime.

"I was disappointed after the Mississippi State game," Howard said. "But I knew Vandy would play zone and shooters can play against a zone."

Howard hit two consecutive '3's midway through the first half to break an 8-all tie, giving Arkansas a 14-8 lead with 7:49 left until halftime. Her third '3' with 2:32 until the break gave Arkansas its largest lead of the game 24-16.

On The Glass

Vanderbilt's starting five listed three players who stand taller than six-feet tall, while Arkansas had only two -- none of which were taller than 6-0.

But despite the height disadvantage, the Lady'Backs held their own in the rebounding category. Vanderbilt outrebounded Arkansas by just one board, 41-40, but Arkansas had the advantage on the offensive glass 16-10.

Home Sweet Home

Arkansas plays three of its next four games in the friendly confines of Bud Walton Arena.

The Lady'Backs meet Auburn at 7 p.m. Thursday at home, then travel to Alabama for a game Saturday.

Arkansas returns home to meet Mississippi State at 2 p.m. Jan. 22 and then plays Florida at 7 p.m. Jan. 26.

Common Opponent

Western Kentucky is the only common opponent for the Lady Commodores and Lady Razorbacks.

Western Kentucky defeated Arkansas 89-73 on Dec. 6. Vandy defeated the Lady Hilltoppers 72-57 on Jan. 3.

Sunday, Arkansas played its first home game since beating New Orleans 84-46 on Dec. 21.

Scary Moment

Arkansas fans had one tense moment when Kristin Andjelkovic fell to the floor with an apparent left knee injury with 12:55 left in the game and the Lady'Backs trailing 34-32.

Andjelkovic was helped off the court and taken to the Arkansas dressing room. Fortunately, she returned with 6:35 left in the game when the Lady'Backs trailing 37-36.

Andjelkovic played 24 minutes, scored 2 points, had 3 rebounds and 1 steal.

Not So Charitable

Arkansas shot its first free throw at the 1:55 mark in the second half when Melissa Hobbs missed both foul shots.

For the game, Arkansas was just 2 of 7 from the free throw line, but came up big when Howard won the game with 2.1 seconds left in overtime.

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