Arkansas comes up short in foul contest at Western

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Senior Tiffany Porter-Talbert led all scorers with 23 points and 12 rebounds as Western Kentucky snapped a two-game losing streak to the University of Arkansas, defeating the Lady Razorbacks, 87-73, at E.A. Diddle Arena. The powerful inside game of the Lady Toppers (6-1) was too much for the Lady Razorbacks. Arkansas (4-4) gave up three to five inches to Western’s interior players, and WKU dominated the lane to score 50 points inside to only 16 for Arkansas. “We’re going to be at a disadvantage in size all year, but we fought hard in the game and we fought hard to the very end of the game,” UA head coach Susie Gardner said. “We took a chance to limit some of their strengths, and some of it worked.” Kristin Peoples led four Lady’Backs in double digits with 20. Dominique Washington and Rochelle Vaughn turned in 16 each with 12 from Whitney Jones. The damage was done in the first half as the Lady’Backs trailed by 10 at intermission, 42-32. Arkansas made a pair of rallies, but couldn’t cut the WKU lead to less than five in the second half. “Our scramble defense was working early, and we did a decent job with it but then we would make a key mistake after the first trap,” Gardner said. Poor shooting by Western left the door open for Arkansas, but a season high 31 fouls, just three off the school record, by the aggressive Lady’Back defense allowed WKU to pull away at the line. Arkansas held Western without a field goal for over four minutes down the stretch, but seven free throws allowed the Lady Toppers to maintain a double-digit lead. For the game, Western hit 29-of-41 at the line, an opponent season high. Arkansas made 16 less points at the line on its’ 13-of-18, much of which came in the final minutes of the game. The first half was a battle of runs as Western erased the initial Arkansas lead with a 10-0 run fueled by six points from Sarah Shouse to build a 20-13 lead midway though the first half. Rochelle Vaughn scored seven unanswered points to tie the game at 20-20, only to watch WKU return to the lead with a 7-0 run including four straight points from Dominique Duck. Arkansas’ Dominique answered with a three-pointer to spark a 7-2 run as the Lady’Backs got back within six, 35-29, with 4:21 left Defense took control of the next three minutes as the teams combined for a single point. Western closed out the half with a 6-2 flurry in the last 90 seconds to lead at half, 42-32. The Lady Toppers pounded the smaller Lady’Backs on the inside as Western scored 32 of its 42 points in the lane, shooting 60.7% from the field in the first half. Western had five players in double digits. Kelly had 16 followed by Ashley Butler with 13 and 12 each from Shouse and Duck.