Lady'Backs Rally Past Auburn

All day long, Lauren Ervin and Dominique Washington were the biggest keys as Arkansas attempted to put an end to its Southeastern Conference blues. But in the end, it took the play of struggling senior Leslie Howard to make the difference.

Inserted into the game in the final minute for her free-throw shooting, Howard — who has seen her time on the floor drastically cut this year — came up with the play of the game when she picked up an offensive rebound with :04.1 seconds to play and followed with two game-clinching free throws in a much-needed, 65-62 victory against Auburn in Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum. "How about Leslie Howard," Arkansas coach Susie Gardner said. "She sits on the bench for most of the game and then comes in a gets a big rebound and hits two big free throws." While Howard played the hero at the very end, it took the play of Ervin and Washington to make sure Arkansas (16-3, 1-2 in the Southeastern Conference) would even have a shot at its first SEC win of the season. Despite falling behind, 38-31, at the half, the Lady'Backs were never out of this one for good as Washington poured in 24 points — including seven 3-points — while Ervin added 19 points and 13 rebounds. Using an 11-2 run in the second half, the Lady'Backs regained a 53-50 lead for the first time since midway through the first half. From there, it was back and forth as neither team led by more than two points until Howard's free throws extended Arkansas' lead back to three. Auburn had one last desperation attempt at the tie, but the Lady Tigers (14-5, 1-2) were unable to get off a shot before the buzzer. "We needed this so badly," Gardner said. "Our players needed it, our coaches needed it. "Just a huge win for us.

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