Free throws carry Arkansas to 2-0

FAYETTEVILLE – Brittney Vaughn scored a career high14 points for the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback basketball team to lead it to an eight-point, 62-54 victory over the University of Louisiana-Monroe at Bud Walton Arena on Monday night.

The win improves the Lady Razorbacks to 2-0 on the year while Louisiana-Monroe falls to 1-1.

Arkansas took the win with power in the lane, but never got on track from the perimeter, shooting only 25.9% in the second half.

“We didn’t get to at point where we could get control of the game,” UA head coach Susie Gardner said. “We have got to do a better job overall, and find a guard combination that works.”

The Lady Razorbacks came out with a hot hand and quickly built an 11-point lead in the contest. Maintaining the lead thanks to timely steals and easy buckets, it appeared that the contest would by over early, but a spirited run by the Warhawks over the final 4:35 of the half cut a 14-point Lady Razorback lead down to three with just under a minute to play. The half would end with Arkansas clinging to a five-point 35-30 lead.

“We never got in the flow of the game tonight,” UA senior Sarah Pfeifer said. “We played like a young team. It was a constant struggle.”

The Lady Razorbacks built their early lead on turnovers, and ironically would give up that advantage the same way. The first half would end with Arkansas commiting more turnovers (15-13) than Louisiana-Monroe, but a slightly better shooting percentage by the Lady’Backs kept Arkansas ahead.

“It seemed like I would make a steal just to give it back to them,” point guard Brittney Vaughn said.

Arkansas opened the second half with another run, but this time Louisiana-Monroe was ready and countered quickly. Matching Arkansas shot-for-shot, the Warhawks kept themselves in the game until the waning moments before time just ran out on the upset bid.

The decisive stat for the contest was free throw shooting. Arkansas was a robust 23-of-30 from the charity stripe for77 percent while Louisiana-Monroe was a scant 7-13 for 54 percent.

For the Lady Razorbacks, Vaughn led all scorers with 14 points, 13 in the opening period, while Lauren Ervin scored 13 and Tanisha Smith and Pfeifer each tallied 11. Louisiana-Monroe’s LaJeanna Howard led the Warhawks with 11 points. Ervin also broke the Bud Walton Arena record for blocked shots with seven, besting six by Sandra Irvine of Texas Christian set back in 2002 against the Lady’Backs.

The Lady Razorbacks are back in action on Friday, Nov. 17, when they take on Lipscomb University on the road. For more information about Lady Razorback basketball or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to LADYBACKS.COM.