FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Ebony Roweetched 22 points and 11 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as Middle Tennessee fell to Arkansas, 66-51, on Tuesday evening at Bud Walton Arena.
The Blue Raiders (1-2) led by as many as five in the second half before Arkansas (4-0) charged back to take its own five-point advantage at the break. Middle Tennessee cut the deficit within two midway through the second half, thanks to six consecutive points from senior KeKe Stewart. However, Arkansas used a 12-4 run to thwart a MT comeback.
Rowe earned her 55th career double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds. The senior forward tallied four steals and a block, while shooting 62 percent (8-of-13) from the field. Stewart joined Rowe in double figures with 10 points and four rebounds. Guard Laken Leonard hit a pair of treys and scored a two-point basket to finish with eight points.
Statistically, the Raiders shot 38 percent (18-of-47) and drained four triples. The Hogs connected on 37.5 percent (18-of-48) from the field, while going to the free throw line 34 times and making 24 freebies. Both teams were nearly even in rebounds with Arkansas holding a 36-33 edge.
Opening the game, Middle Tennessee took a five point lead at 10-5. However, the Razorbacks stormed back to tie the game. The game was once again tied at 21 after Rowe used a steal and layup to score. Cason hit a pair of free throws to take a give MT a 23-21 edge.
The Hogs then exploded on the backs of a Calli Berna triple to take a 28-24 lead. Arkansas went up by as many as 10 before MT used two Rowe baskets and a free throw to cut the deficit to 36-31.
In the first half, the Raiders shot 46 percent (10-of-22) from the field, while earning three triples. Arkansas forced 12 turnovers, scoring 15 points. Rowe led MT with 15 points and seven rebounds.
In the second half, the Raiders clawed their way back cutting the deficit to two with six consecutive points from Stewart. However, a Keira Peak triple put the Hogs back up 48-43. From there, Arkansas extended its lead by using a 12-4 run. Peak finished with 20 points, while Jessica Jackson led UA with 22.
After closing out a two-game road trip, Middle Tennessee returns home to play No. 7 Kentucky on Sunday, Nov. 24. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. inside the Murphy Center. The game is televised locally on MyTV 30.
Ebony Rowe recorded 22 points and 11 rebounds for her 55th career double-double … Rowe’s sole block moved her into a tie for seventh with Tawayna Mucker for 88 career blocks … Sophomore TiAnna Porter registered her first career basket in the second half … Ebony Rowe earned a season-high four steals … Middle Tennessee is 0-4 all-time against Arkansas.