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Arkansas rallies past Northwestern to win NCAA opener

Mar 20, 2015 - 9:36 PM Waco, TX ( - Jessica Jackson scored 14 points and hit the tie-breaking free throw with 29 seconds remaining to lift Arkansas to a 57-55 victory over Northwestern in the first round of the NCAA Women's Tournament.

Kelsey Brooks led the Razorbacks with 15 points and Melissa Wolff contributed 13 with a game-high 15 rebounds. Arkansas (18-13), seeded 10th in the Oklahoma City Region, rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit and will next play second-seeded Baylor in the second round.

Alex Cohen and Ashley Deary each scored 13 points for Northwestern (23-9), which built a 48-35 cushion with 11:39 remaining.

Arkansas chipped away, but still trailed 55-51 after a bucket by Cohen with just under four minutes to play. The Wildcats never scored again.

A layup by Brooks a minute later pulled Arkansas within two and Jhasmin Bowen's jumper tied it with 1:14 left. Cohen missed a jumper, then fouled Jackson on the rebound, leading to the go-ahead free throw.

Bowen missed a free throw with 22 seconds remaining, but Cohen turned it over and Wolff missed from the line with 14 seconds to play. Nia Coffey missed twice at the other end with seven seconds remaining and a Brooks free throw made it a two-point difference with two seconds left. Brooks missed the second attempt from the line, but Northwestern was unable to get a shot before time expired.