Strong shooting leads Lady'Backs to 12-0
FAYETTEVILLE – Senior Lauren Ervin got her sixth double-double in eight games with 23 points and 13 rebounds to lead the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback basketball team to a 91-66 win over the University of Memphis at Bud Walton Arena on Tuesday night at Bud Walton Arena.
The Lady Razorback victory keeps Arkansas undefeated this season at 12-0 and is its eighth home win of the year. Memphis falls to 2-7. Arkansas’ 91 points are a season best.
“It’s going to be a very Merry Christmas,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “I’ve never gone into the holiday or my birthday which is Dec. 21, 12-0. I did have a team at Colorado St. that only lost a couple of games but one of those losses came before the break. I still think that we can improve, and have a lot of things to work on. I understand the more difficult part of the schedule is ahead of us so we will practice tomorrow since our work is not done. We need to keep it rolling as long as we can.”
“They rebounded all night,” Memphis head coach Blair Savage-Langsden said. “We knew that Lauren Ervin and Whitney Jones were one of the best combos that we would see all year. That’s what gave them the run early on.”
The Lady Razorbacks were hot from the opening tip, scoring the first eight points in the game. Arkansas would open the game with a 22-5 run over the opening six-plus minutes as it hit 64 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Tigers by a wide margin.
Memphis began to claw its way back into the game midway through the period with a mini run of its own, but another strong Lady Razorback push with four minutes left in the half. The Lady Razorbacks biggest lead of the opening period was 20 and the Tigers never came within 13. Arkansas’ 47 first-half points matches its second most to open a game this season.
“It was a great start for us,” Collen said. “We told the kids that we needed that start. Memphis was hungry and we knew that. Every time they made a run at us, we would come right back and score a couple of baskets.”
“We all just calmed down, relaxed and let the game come to us,” Charity Ford said. “We have to come back and play strong after the break. We can’t slack off.”
Holding a 13-point lead heading into the second half, the Lady’Backs never looked back as it steadily grew its lead to over 20. Using fast break opportunities throughout the contest, Arkansas was quick with its rebounding and even quicker with its passing as it ran up and down the court. A quick game, both teams attempted to push the pace of the game with played into the agility of the Lady Razorbacks.
Along with Ervin’s double-double, four other Lady Razorbacks scored in double figures. Ford matched a career high with 15 points, Ayanna Brereton scored 12 and Whitney Jones and Brittney Vaughn hit for 11. As a team the Lady Razorbacks hit 55 percent from the floor, down from their first-half numbers, but a total that could have been higher had it not been for the last several minutes of the contest.
The Lady Razorbacks go on the road for their next game, a post Christmas contest with Delaware at the Blue Sky Classic in Hanover, N.H. on Saturday, Dec. 29. For more information about Lady Razorback basketball or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.