FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Bria Goss found her touch in the second half and helped No. 10 Kentucky rebound when it needed a win in the worst way.
Goss scored 16 of her 17 points after halftime as the Wildcats rallied and held on for a 79-74 overtime win over Arkansas on Thursday night.
The Wildcats (20-3, 8-2 Southeastern Conference) trailed by eight points with 6:51 remaining in regulation, but they tied the game late and avoided losing for the third time in four games. Samarie Walker added 16 points and A’dia Mathies finished with 15.
DeNesha Stallworth added 12 points for Kentucky, which had its school-record 34-game home winning streak snapped in its last game by Georgia.
Sarah Watkins had 25 points to lead the Razorbacks (15-8, 3-7), who fell to 1-5 against ranked teams. Quistelle Williams added 18 points and Dominique Wilson 17 in the loss. Calli Berna finished with 11 assists.
Arkansas had the last shot with the game tied at 64-64 in regulation, but Berna’s layup attempt on the baseline was blocked by Kentucky’s Brittany Henderson. The Wildcats, who trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half, had tied the game at with 25.6 seconds remaining on a drive by Mathies.
Goss scored seven points in overtime, including a pair of free throws that put Kentucky up 73-66. Mathies, who finished 6 of 17 from the field and struggled for much of the game, then hit a jumper to put the Wildcats up 75-68 and put the game out of reach.
Kentucky trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half before regaining control behind Walker. The forward scored the first seven points of the second half for the Wildcats, helping them tie the game at 35-35 — the first time they hadn’t trailed since the opening minutes.
Stallworth finally put Kentucky back ahead 44-42 with a pair of free throws, but Williams answered with a 3-pointer to put Arkansas back ahead 45-44. The Razorbacks pushed their lead to as many as eight points after that, taking a 56-48 lead following a 3-pointer by Watkins, before the Wildcats rallied to take a 62-61 lead in the closing minute after a jumper by Mathies.
Williams put Arkansas back ahead 64-62 with a three-point play before Mathies answered again — this time with a drive with 25.6 seconds remaining to tie the game and send it into overtime.
Arkansas controlled the action for much of the first half against a Kentucky team that entered the game leading the SEC in turnover margin. The Wildcats committed 10 turnovers in the first half while forcing only 9 by the Razorbacks, and they fell behind by as many as 11 points before closing to within 33-28 at halftime.
Watkins had 11 points in 10 minutes off the bench in the half for Arkansas, which has now lost to five ranked teams this season. The Razorbacks lone win over a ranked team before Thursday was a 64-56 win over then-No. 17 Kansas on Dec. 6.
Arkansas took its largest lead of the first half at 30-19 following a basket by Jhasmin Bowen, whose jumper made the Razorbacks 12 of 24 (50 percent) from the field.
The Wildcats closed out the half on a 9-3 run, led by five points by Bernisha Pinkett, to close within 33-28 at halftime.