KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Senior Sarah Pfeifer led three Lady Razorbacks in double-digits, but it wasn’t enough as the defending national champion Tennessee Lady Vols handed Arkansas a 98-55 defeat in women’s college basketball.
Arkansas, 16-4, dropped to 1-4 in Southeastern Conference games while Tennessee moved to 17-1 for the season and remained undefeated both in league play and at home in Thompson-Boling Arena.
“They’re a team contending for the national title and there will be a lot of folks who come in here and face that kind of score,” UA head coach Tom Collen said. “We got a little frustrated early, but we battled to the end.”
Pfeifer led Arkansas with 16, scoring 10 of her points in the first half, including 2-of-2 from three-point range early.
“It’s tough, and when you’ve not face it before, it can be hard for young players,” Pfeifer said.
Tennessee had the combination of freshman three-point shooter Angie Bjorklund in the first half and all-American junior Candace Parker in the second half.
Bjorkland finished with 29, including 7-of-14 from three-point range. Parker scored 24 points.
For the game, Tennessee shot 52% from the field, 48% from behind the arc.
The Lady Vols opened the second half the same way they began the game, hitting their first seven shots and extending the lead to as many as 43 before the close.
Behind a perfect shooting start by freshman Bjorkland from behind the arc, Tennessee scored the first 16 points of the game before Ayana Brereton hit Arkansas’ first bucket.
“They jump us early and stumbled,” Collen said. “Once we relaxed and we hit some shots we got into attack mode.”
The Lady’Backs recovered from the slow start to close within 13 twice, but Parker asserted herself at the end of the first half to push Tennessee to a 28-point halftime lead, 56-28.
Along with Pfeifer, Arkansas got double digits from Brereton and Brittney Vaughn. Brereton scored 13, while Vaughn added 11.
Tennessee had two others in double digits as Sydney Smallbone and Nicky Anosike had 12 each.
Arkansas returns to Bud Walton Arena this weekend to face the Miss State Lady Bulldogs at 2 p.m.