HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Whitney Jones scored a game high 17 points to lead the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback basketball team to a 59-43 win over Northwestern State at Summit Arena in Hot Springs, Ark., on Thursday night.
Arkansas’ victory keeps it undefeated on the year at 10-0 while Northwestern State falls to 4-6.
“I’m just glad to get a win,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “It wasn’t a real pretty game on either end of the floor. We needed to get the ball inside and I think we did that. I think that normally we make 60 percent of the three footers and didn’t shoot that high tonight.”
Joining Jones in the double-digit category was senior Sarah Pfeifer who put up her first double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Fellow senior Lauren Ervin grabbed 16 points and nine boards.
“Sarah gave us an unbelievable spark,” Collen said. “She came out on fire and got us a lead early. One thing that you can count on is that when the game gets physical, she’ll get physical with it. Sarah never totally surprises me because she plays with a lot of intensity. She’ll get points and rebounds, she certainly jump started us tonight.”
Scoring on its first possession, Arkansas jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but only scored one other time over the game’s five-plus minutes. While the lack of scoring was a major concern early, Arkansas’ defense was nothing short of stifling as it held Northwestern St. to just three points through almost seven minutes of action.
A 9-5 game at the second media timeout, the Lady Razorbacks went on an 8-0 run over the next three minutes to grab a 12-point lead and never look back. Forcing numerous turnovers by the Lady Demons, Arkansas was able to pad its lead which steadily grew to as many as 18 in the opening half.
The second half began like the first with Arkansas starting cold from the floor. The lack of scoring allowed Northwestern to knock down its deficit to 14, but a spirited Lady Razorback run kept the Lady Demons at bay and maintain Arkansas’ advantage.
The Arkansas run was short lived as NSU continued its pursuit at Arkansas’ lead. Missed opportunities on both ends of the floor for the Lady’Backs allowed the Lady Demons to come within 10 for the first time since the 9 minute mark in the first half with as little as seven minutes to play.
“We didn’t handle the pressure very well,” Collen said. “Coming out of the break it bothered us a little more. We need to learn how to deal with it better than we did tonight.”
The Lady Razorbacks would close the game out with a 10-5 scoring advantage after Northwestern cut the lead to its lowest point and cruise to victory 59-43.
The Lady Razorbacks return to Bud Walton Arena on Saturday, December 15, to face St. Louis at 2:00 p.m. For more information about Lady Razorback basketball or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.