FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A cold-shooting second half hurt the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team as they suffered their second consecutive Southeastern Conference loss in Bud Walton Arena Thursday.
Arkansas (8-7, 0-2 SEC) fell 38-65 to No. 11 LSU (13-1, 2-0 SEC) losing to one of the best defensive teams in the nation.
“I thought we did a good job defensively in the first half,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “But we struggled offensively and with turnovers and that was exaggerated in the second half.
“We were tied at the half and I thought that would be a positive thing but LSU hit three traditional three-point plays to start the second and that deflated us.”
Arkansas went without a double-figure scorer for the first time this season. Sophomore Ashley Daniels led Arkansas with nine points and three boards. Junior Skye Rees dropped in a season-best eight points and sophomore C’eira Ricketts and freshman Quistelle Williams had five each.
“We came out really hard and aggressive in the beginning of the game,” Daniels said. “We let up in the second and didn’t defend as well as the game went on.
“We didn’t match LSU’s level of competition,” Daniels continued. “Their guards are really active and the posts are really strong.”
Arkansas shot nearly 30 percent for the game and held LSU to 31.8 percent shooting in the first half but the Lady Tigers turned it up a notch shooting nearly 49 percent in the second frame on a 17-for-35 performance to win the game.
Cold shooting and a myriad of turnovers by both teams was the storyline in the first half which ended in a 19-all tie. Arkansas opened with the advantage going up 8-0 and led 8-2 at the first media timeout.
The Razorbacks allowed LSU a 7-0 run as the Lady Tigers closed the gap. Daniels hit a tough two breaking the LSU scoring run at 10-9.
It was a back-and-forth battle from that point with neither team able to control the tempo of the game. Arkansas finished the half shooting 36 percent on a 9-of-25 performance led by Daniels with six points.
The Lady Tigers were 7-for-22 shooting 31.8 percent at the break. The teams combined for 30 turnovers in the opening stanza.
A quick second half start by LSU saw the Lady Tigers sprint out to a 10-point, 31-21 lead, prompting Collen to call a timeout with a little more than two minutes off the clock. The LSU scoring continued as the Lady Tigers ran out a 15-0 run before a Daniels put-back halted the scoring.
Arkansas found itself down by double-digits and couldn’t recover as the second half progressed. The Lady Tigers stepped up the defensive pressure and kept Arkansas out of the paint where the Razorbacks scored most of its first-half points.
LSU’s LaSondra Barrett finished as one of two players with a game-high 13 points, all in the second half. Teammate Allison Hightower also had 13 and for Lady Tigers finished in double figures.
Arkansas travels to Ole Miss for its first road league game of the 2009-10 season. Arkansas faces the Lady Rebels Sunday, Jan. 10, in a 2 p.m. contest.