FAYETTEVILLE – Shameka Christon’s 24 points gave the senior another milestone for her long resume with the University of Arkansas as the Lady Razorbacks defeated the McNeese State Cowgirls, 72-52, at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville on Tuesday night.
The win improves the Lady Razorbacks to 9-2 on the season as they remain undefeated at home for the 2003-04 season at 3-0. McNeese falls to 2-8 on the year.
It was a milestone evening for Arkansas’ leading scorer as Christon passed two former Lady Razorbacks to move to fourth on the all-time career scoring list. Her 24 points against the Cowgirls gave her 1,596 for her career.
Christon’s third field goal placed her fifth on the list passing former teammate Wendi Willits with 1,575 points early in the first half. She didn’t have to wait long to move again, passing Kodak All-America honorable mention Shelly Wallace for fourth on the all-time list with her final bucket of the first half.
“I try not to look at them (the stats),” said Christon. “My main goal isn’t to not up on the lists, it’s to play well.”
After falling behind by a bucket in the opening moments, Arkansas went on an 8-0 run over two minutes to take a solid lead before the first media timeout. The seven-point Lady Razorback advantage grew to as many as 11 through the first 10 minutes of the period, but the Cowgirls were able to stay within striking distance, cutting the lead back down to five at the 8:16 mark.
Taking the contest to 20-15, Arkansas then dominated the final moments of the half outscoring its opponent, 22-7 to close the half. A sloppy half of basketball on both sides, the Lady Razorbacks turned the ball over 13 times, while McNeese coughed it up 12. The difference in the period came in points off turnovers as Arkansas tallied 12 to the Cowgirls six.
“We played hard and had more good things happen,” said Arkansas head coach Susie Gardner. “We were a little hot and cold.”
Holding a comfortable 20-point lead at the break, it was more of the same in the second half for the Lady Razorbacks. Tough defense and their best shooting performance of the season allowed Arkansas to increase its lead to as many as 27 before the close of the contest.
The Lady Razorbacks saw two players score in double digits on the evening. Behind Christon’s 24, sophomore post Ruby Vaden dominated the lane with 20 points and 10 rebounds for the third double-double of her career.
“We knew coming in that Shameka and Ruby would be a tough combination on the inside,” McNeese head coach Carol Sensley said. “We hoped that our athleticism would be able to counter that. We have put ourselves in a hole several times this season in the first half and tonight was no exception.”
McNeese was led by Marquita Williams who scored 13 points, including 11 in the opening period. Regina Spivey and Shamika Stewart each poured in 11.
The Lady Razorbacks are back in action on Friday, January 2, when they take on the University of Memphis Tigers at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.