Pfeifer Thompson lead Arkansas to near-upset of EV1 80-77
FAYETTEVILLE – Junior Sarah Pfeifer led the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback basketball team with 17 points, but the effort came up just short as Arkansas fell to Everyone’s Internet in the season’s opening exhibition contest at Bud Walton Arena on Friday night in Fayetteville, 80-77. The team of former all-Americans and pro players trailed by as many as nine to Arkansas as the Lady’Backs gave EV1 one of its best games of the team’s 2004 schedule. “I saw some good things out there tonight,” UA head coach Susie Gardner said. “They were a physical team and we had three players still getting feeling their way around after injuries. Still, I was pleased with the way we were able to press them and I like the fact that we had different players providing the scoring tonight.” Down by as many as nine in the second half, Arkansas rallied to within a bucket in the closing minute. “What’s exciting about this team is the fact that anyone can step up at any time,” Gardner said. “I’m very happy with the progress we’ve made from the Red-White Game.” Pfeifer and Sheree Thompson, who scored 16, missed last season with injuries, and junior Ruby Vaden was limited to only five minutes time in her return from surgery earlier this fall. “I think their physical style of play is teaching us to play tough, especially on rebounds,” Pfeifer said. Thompson and senior Adrienne Bush combined for eight points off four steals and layups down the stretch in the first half as Arkansas took control at intermission, 41-32. “I don’t care about scoring points as long as we play team ball,” Thompson said. Arkansas got off to a good start when junior Kristin Moore put in the games first bucket just 11 seconds into the contest when the Lady’Backs took the opening tip and moved quickly down the floor. A back-and-forth game through the next 10 minutes, Arkansas used pressure defense to build a lead as the clock ticked under 10 minutes in the half. Capitalizing on 10 EI turnovers, the Lady’Backs scored eight points during a two minute span to build a lead as large as nine. On its heels, EI came back to within five three times over the next seven minutes, but a pair of Lady Razorback buckets to close the half from Danielle Allen and Kristin Peoples increased the lead back to nine at the half. The telling tale in the opening 20 minutes was Arkansas’ ability to capitalize on turnovers. The Lady’Backs were able to score 15 of their 41 first-half points off EI miscues. Everyone’s Internet came storming back at the beginning of the second period to make the game close, but a composed Arkansas squad fended off the vistor’s charge to keep a five-point lead through a good portion of the second half. “That first minute and a half of the second half was the difference,” Gardner said. “We played very hard in this game, but we made a few wrong decisions." As the clock wound down to the midway point, EI put on a run thanks to several bad passes by the Lady’Backs and took a three point lead at 10:48. Solid Lady Razorback defense and patience on the offensive end allowed Arkansas to keep the contest close, but Ei continued to anticipate the Arkansas passes and jump into the lanes to give themselves easy layup opportunities. Continuing to give Arkansas fits, the Lady’Backs missed several shots over the next few minutes to give EI the game’s first 10-point lead. Lady’Back junior Sheree Thompson tried to get Arkansas back into the contest when she knocked down a three from the left side then on Arkansas’ next two possesssions with a three-pointer and a finger roll to cut the lead to six, 75-69. Arkansas came all the way back to within four on a Kristin Peoples jumper with 1:30 left in the contest prompting the EI bench to call a timeout. EI managed to kill the clock with just enough offense to keep Arkansas at bay. The Lady’Backs had one last chance when People hit a pair of free throws to make it 80-77 with six seconds left, then got a steal off the inbounds but was unable to control it which in turn allowed EI to run out the clock. The Lady Razorbacks are back in action on Thursday evening, Nov. 11, when they take on the Athletes in Action in their second and final preseason matchup. For more information about Lady Razorback basketball or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.