MEMPHIS – Freshman Charity Ford led four players in double digits as the 24th-ranked University of Arkansas got the Lady Razorbacks’ 12th win of the year with a 70-54 decision over the University of Memphis.
Arkansas (12-1) also had its largest margin of victory in the 17-game series history at Memphis (3-9).
“Charity without question kept us in this game,” UA head coach Susie Gardner said. “She has a knack for making things happen.”
The Lady’Backs brought the Southeastern Conference’s women’s basketball player of the week to the Elma Roane Field House, but junior Brittney Vaughn saw only 10 minutes before an injury put her out of the game.
“My heart skipped a beat when (trainer) Jeremy (Braziel) told me we wouldn’t have her in the second half,” Gardner said. “But this team has faces a lot of challenges this season, a lot of questions. Losing Brittney tonight, having Tulsa cut it to one last game, but this team has met every challenge this season.”
Defense was the difference as Arkansas held the Lady Tigers to only 25% from the field, a season low for Arkansas opponents this year.
“Defense is our thing,” Gardner said.
While Arkansas missed Vaughn’s floor command, freshman Ford stepped up for her second straight career high game. Ford picked up her second straight career high of the year with 15 points.
Senior Dominique Washington hit back-to-back three-pointers after halftime to give Arkansas back its double-digit lead. The senior finished with 12 points, all off treys.
“It’s kind of like the slam dunk for women,” Ford said about her teammate. “When she hit those shots it really gave us a lift.”
Arkansas also got one of its best game’s the year from Danielle Allen as the senior scored in double-digits for the first time since the season opener at Clemson.
Memphis could not score for the first seven minutes of the game while Arkansas pulled out to a 10-0 advantage. Forcing five turnovers and nine misses, the Lady’Back defense looked ready to turn the game into an early rout.
After a three-pointer from Adams broke the skid, Memphis returned the favor with an 11-0 run to tie the game at 14-14.
Just as Arkansas began to struggle offensively, the team lost Vaughn. The junior came out of the game early with a minor injury, but a second collision at the 6:22 mark sent her to the bench for the rest of the half with a hip pointer.
A combination of freshmen Donica Cosby, Kendra Roberts and Washington took over at the point for Vaughn. Arkansas had nine turnovers by halftime.
Arkansas slowly pulled back to a 10-point led before halftime, but Memphis managed to cut the spread to eight, 34-26, at intermission.
Junior Lauren Ervin led Arkansas on the boards with 11 rebounds. Allen finished with 11 points and 10 for Cosby.
Devin Necaise led Memphis with 14.