Offensive explosion destroys Memphis 99-53

FAYETTEVILLE – Junior Dominique Washington scored 25 and senior Rochelle Vaughn 22 as the University of Arkansas thrashed the Memphis Lady Tigers, 99-53, at women’s collegiate basketball Monday at Bud Walton Arena. Arkansas, 2-0, scored the most points of the Susie Gardner era for the Lady Razorbacks as all nine players in the game scored. “Obviously this was one our best offensive games, but the credit goes to the defense,” Gardner said. “I didn’t expect this, but the great start set the tempo.” Behind 20 first-half points from Vaughn, Arkansas used a 14-0 run to quickly build a 15-point lead, 20-5. “We knew they were physical, and they did a good job preparing for us,” Memphis head coach Blair Savage said. “Credit their guards, they got it rolling early.” It was a change for Vaughn who struggled from the field in the preseason, but hit 9-of-15 from the field and 3-of-6 from behind the arc. “I stayed after practice today and worked with Coach Gardner,” Vaughn said. “I just relaxed and let the game come to me.” “We did a nice job of scoring in transition,” Gardner said. “Shooting is contagious, and tonight everyone was relaxed.” Several Lady’Backs posted career highs paced along with Vaughn and Washington, senior Sheree Thompson collected a career-best eight rebounds while junior Kristin Peoples added a career-best eight assists in the Arkansas win. “Peeps played a great game,” Gardner said. “It was one of her best games controlling the floor.” While Peoples and SEC Freshman of the Week Whitney Jones were held under 10 each, the Lady’Backs had three other starters in double digits with Thompson rounding out the scorers with 16. “We just went out and played hard tonight, and good things happened,” Thompson said. In the second half, Arkansas slowly built its lead to the final margin of 46 at the end of the game. It was the most points scored by either team in the 15-game series with Memphis, besting the 93 points scored by Arkansas during the 1997-98 season. The margin was the largest in the series, breaking a 37-point win in the 2001-02 season. Turnovers drove Arkansas quickly to 10, then 20 point leads, closing out the first half with 28 points off Memphis’ 17 miscues. Behind a hot shooting offense in the opening 10 minutes, Arkansas led by as many as 24, 47-23, at 2:49 after a Thompson lay-in late in the period. Vaughn capped the half with a buzzer-beating three-pointer to send the teams to the locker room at 52-29. The trey was her third of the half, and her 20 points almost gave her a career high in the first 20 minutes. For the game, Arkansas shot 52.6% from the field and forced a total of 32 Memphis turnovers. The defense caused the Lady Tigers to have a -4:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, while Arkansas had 28 assists against its 16 turnovers. “That’s a stat that we pay a lot of attention to, and credit our guards for keeping control of the ball,” Gardner said. The Lady Razorbacks continue the non-conference portion of their schedule traveling to Oregon Nov. 25, followed by a game against Portland State Nov. 26. Both contests can be heard live in the Northwest Arkansas area on KXUA, 88.3 FM, and KBNV, 90.1 FM. In addition, the games will air live on LADYBACKS.COM.