Tuesday, November 29, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Jackson earns MVP award

By NATE ALLENSpecial to The Leader

RENO, Nev. – University of Arkansas senior Jessica Jackson, of Jacksonville, earned MVP honors over the weekend, leading the Razorbacks women to a 2-0 record and the Nugget Classic tournament championships.

The event culminated with Arkansas taking a thrilling win over Navy, 70-67, in the final game of the event.

Jackson finished with 17 points, her sixth consecutive double figure scoring game. Keiryn Swenson added a career-best 16 points and Briunna Freeman had a career-best 13 points. Alecia Cooley was also selected to the Nugget Classic All-Tournament team.

“I’m pleased,” Arkansas Coach Jimmy Dykes said. “They come in making 10 three-pointers a game and we held them to five for the game. That was the difference in the game.”

The Razorbacks, 6-0, suffered through a couple of scoring droughts and found themselves up just three with under a minute to play. Navy (3-2) grabbed a rebound off an Arkansas miss and called a quick timeout.

One of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country, Arkansas knew Navy would look for the long shot to tie the game out of the timeout. The Midshipmen missed the three but grabbed the rebound with 10 seconds to go, calling another timeout.

Arkansas elected to foul out of the break and Navy missed both bonus shots as the Razorbacks held on for the win.

Arkansas went on a 9-0 run over a span of 2:20 in the second quarter to open a 10-point lead over Navy. That lead was the catalyst to the victory as Arkansas would never trail from that point on.