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Arkansas’ defense native stars lead past Rice

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Arkansas’ defense native stars lead past Rice

FAYETTEVILLE – Powered by a tenacious defense and 22 points from senior Shameka Christon, the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback basketball team stole their way to a 65-46 victory over the Rice Owls on Monday night at Bud Walton Arena. The Arkansas win improves its record to 2-0 on the season while Rice falls to 0-2. "They only had 16 points in the second half, and I’ll take that any day," Arkansas head coach Susie Gardner said. "As for our win here, a win is a win and its more the experience that will help this team grow as players." Behind at the break, Arkansas came back to the floor ready for Rice’s offense and continued to force turnovers. A close contest through the middle of the period, it was freshman Danielle Allen that stepped up and ignited the Lady Razorbacks as she scored four consecutive points sandwiched around a picked off Rice pass on the defensive end to turn the tide of the game. Allen’s burst followed by a Christon trey, gave Arkansas a 10-point lead with eight minutes to play, its largest lead of the contest. "Danielle certainly gave us a spark," Gardner said. "She made some big defensive plays for us and has a knack for going to the offensive glass. She is probably the best offensive rebounder on the team." The Lady Razorbacks ended the game with 13 steals and forced 26 Rice turnovers. The Rice miscues led to 21 Arkansas points where the Owls were only able to score eight points on 17 Lady Razorback turnovers. While both teams seemed to struggle from the floor, it was Rice that suffered severely from the three-point arc as they went 0-9 from the land of three. "We got outplayed by a team that wanted it more than we did," Rice head coach Cristy McKinney said. "We aren’t experienced at the point guard and gave up in the second half. Their bench came in and did a good job. Our’s didn’t do much and it hurt us. The Lady Razorbacks used tough defense and a good inside game to keep the game close in the first half and hide their abismal 31-percent shooting percentage. Arkansas forced 15 Rice turnovers in the opening period and went to the line 14 times. A back and forth contest for most of the half, the Lady Razorbacks took control and grabbed a seven point advantage before allowing the Owls to come back late in the period as they went on a 9-2 run to tie the contest at 26 with three minutes to play. Rice went into the locker room ahead by two, 30-28. Arkansas got double digit nights from Christon and Sophomore Sarah Pfeifer who hit for 13. Pfeifer made her biggest impact in the second period when she scored 11 points in 13 minutes. For the Owls, Johnetta Hayes was the only player to score 10 points. "Pfeiffer played with great passion," Gardner said. "I wish that every player on the floor had her fire." The Lady Razorbacks go back on the road for their next contest a weekend tournament at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Calif., Friday, Nov. 28.



Sports Category : Basketball (W)