FAYETTEVILLE – Sophomore Danielle Allen scored 13 points for the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback women’s basketball team, but despite her efforts Arkansas fell to the top-ranked LSU Tigers at Bud Walton Arena on Thursday night, 90-64.
The loss drops the Lady Razorbacks to 15-11 overall and 3-9 in SEC while LSU improves to 26-1 and a perfect 13-0 in conference action. The win also clinches the No. 1 seed at next week’s SEC Tournament for the Lady Tigers.
LSU came out on fire to begin the second half, going on a 24-2 run over the opening eight minutes to grab a 61-33 lead. The Lady Razorbacks opened ice cold as they managed two free throws and missed their first 17 shots while committing seven turnovers. Senior April Seggebruch busted the scoreless stretch with a three off the bench but the damage had been done as the Tigers continued to assert themselves as the number one team in the nation.
“Early in the second half I felt the LSU run coming,” Arkansas head coach Susie Gardner said. “I told the players we had to buckle down and force a shot. Temeka Johnson can bring it right at you and she has great players around her who can finish.”
LSU did allow their 28-point lead slip slightly with five-minutes remaining as Arkansas came back to within 14, but the Tigers quickly reversed the momentum with a timeout and another run, this time a six-point affair to again lead by 20. Arkansas’ three-point accuracy which was near pinpoint in the first half went away in the second as they managed just five of 17 in the latter half of the game.
“Arkansas always comes to play, especially at home,” Johnson said. “In the first half they made us force some shots. The only thing that changed for us was a change we made within ourselves.”
An ugly start to the contest saw both squads combine to miss the first nine shots. Arkansas broke the scoreless string with a five-foot jumper in the lane by Sheree Thompson. LSU came right back with a deuce, but the score remained tied at two for the opening five minutes as poor shooting continued to dominate with a combined 2-12 from the floor. LSU began to take control of the contest midway through the half when they built up a nine-point advantage, but back-to-back threes by the Lady Razorbacks brought Arkansas within striking distance.
The Tigers went on another run near the end of the period which was quickly countered by some more crisp shooting by the Lady Razorbacks from downtown. For the period, Arkansas hit five of six from beyond the three-point arc to stay in the contest and go into the locker rooms at the half down by six, 37-31.
“We were confident at halftime,” Gardner said. “If we played them again we would have to play two halves like the first half tonight. I’m not sure if LSU played their best ball tonight. They weren’t scoring like they usually do, but we played with them in the first.”
For the contest, LSU’s Johnson led all scorers with a career high 28. Arkansas got double-digits from Allen with 13, and Kristin Peoples, Seggebruch and Rochelle Vaughn who each tallied 12. Other double-digit scorers for LSU included Semione Augustus with 18, Scholandra Hoston with 16 and Sylvia Fowles with 11.
The Lady Razorbacks conclude their regular season on Sunday afternoon when they travel to Lexington, Ky., to take on the Kentucky Wildcats at noon central. For more information about Lady Razorback basketball or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.