FAYETTEVILLE – Junior Ayanna Brereton scored a career high 22 points to lead the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback basketball team to a season opening, 87-60, victory against Lipscomb University at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville on Sunday afternoon.
Arkansas took the lead early in the contest and never looked back as it shot 48 percent from the floor and 71 percent from three-point range. The Lady’Backs also capitalized on Lipscomb turnovers by converting 25 miscues into 32 points.
“It was a good start for us,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “They hit a few threes early which I thought was good because then the kids knew that what we had been preaching all week was true. We looked too relaxed defensively, and I thought we needed to pick up the intensity especially in the second half. If we can shoot that well all the time we are going to win a lot of games.”
Falling behind in the opening moments, Arkansas found itself in an 8-2 deficit just over a minute into the contest but quickly responded with 17 of the next 19 points to take a nine-point, 19-10, lead at the 13 minute mark. The run was spurred by the play of Brereton who lit up the Lady Bison for four of her 22 points and also contributed a steal and block during the run.
Lipscomb would cut the lead to seven just two minutes later, but another run by the Lady Razorbacks made it a 19-point game with six to play in the half. Arkansas would increase their lead to 23 by the end of the period with a first half output of 47 points, a total that nearly matched the game score from its exhibition match just a week ago.
The Lady Razorbacks used their lead to play its entire bench. The change in lineups didn’t seem to hurt the Lady’Backs on the court as they continued to maintain a 20-plus point cushion through the final buzzer, and a 21-0 outburst in the early second half.
“Arkansas played well they shot well from the outside,” Lipscomb head coach Frank Bennett said. “Our team competed well and I was proud of them.”
“They focused a lot on their inside-out game,” Arkansas senior Lauren Ervin said. “Every time it wasn’t there inside their shooters were knocking it down from outside. We did the same thing but I felt that our intensity was higher because we didn’t want to start 0-1.”
Five Lady Razorbacks put up double-digit scoring on the afternoon. Along with Brereton’s 22, Sarah Pfeifer scored 16, Ervin (13), Charity Ford (10) and Brittney Richardson (10). Defensively, Arkansas blocked 10 shots on the afternoon led by Pfeifer’s career high five. Ervin also had a strong day in the lane, blocking three shots. Lipscomb was led by Jenna Bartsokas who scored 15 points.
The Lady Razorbacks return to Bud Walton Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 14, when they host Jackson State at 7:00 p.m. For more information about Lady Razorback basketball or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.