FAYETTEVILLE – Freshman Donica Cosby scored 15 points to lead the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback basketball team, but the double-digit effort was not enough as the Lady’Backs fell to the seventh-ranked LSU Tigers at Bud Walton Arena on Thursday night, 86-65.
The loss drops the Lady Razorbacks to 18-9 on the year and 3-8 in SEC action while LSU improves to 23-4 overall and 9-2 in league play.
“I was extremely please with the first 30 minutes,” said Arkansas head coach Susie Gardner. “In the last 10 mintues we missed some open shots and they went on a run.”
Arkansas played in the first half and enjoyed as much as a five point lead as they limited turnovers and stayed composed under the basket despite LSU’s height advantage. The Lady’Backs controlled the tempo and the cold-shooting Tigers manged just 27 percent from the floor in the first 10 minutes of play.
A two-minute scoring drought prompted the Tigers to burn the game’s first called timeout with Arkansas up 17-12 at the 11:22 mark in the first period.
The Tigers managed to stay close thanks, in part, to a 5-for-5 performance from the line and Erica White put LSU ahead at the 5:09 mark with a three from the left side. With the game close down the stretch, each team traded baskets resulting in the game’s fifth tie with 1:56 to play. The tigers would score the final four points of the half to take a 32-28 lead into the break.
“I was happy about our first half tonight,” said Gardner. “We got some good looks around the basket and made timely shots.”
The beginning of the second half was very much a continuation of the first, with both teams trading baskets. At the 17-minute mark, LSU began to take control, going on a 6-2 run to take a 10-point lead forcing Garnder to call a timeout and stop the bleeding.
Gardner’s strategy worked as Arkansas came out of the break with a 10-2 run of their own to pull within two on back to back shots by Cosby and Lauren Ervin. The run was enough to force a LSU timeout at 14:06. The Tigers came out of the break with a layup, but Arkansas came back with a pair of free throws and a bucket to tie the game again at 44 with 11:50 left.
As quick as Arkansas was to get the game back even, LSU was just as quick to regain a six-point lead on three fast-break buckets stemming from Lady Razorback misses. The Tigers took their largest lead of the contest on an old-fashioned three-point play by Fowles who followed up on a missed shot and connected on the lay-up. Missed shots by Arkansas gave LSU an opportunity to put together a crushing 24-0 run over four and a half minutes.
“When we got into the one and one late in the second half, we tried to penetrate more and get to the line. I felt we took shots a little too early, though, with too few players touching the ball each possession.”
Behind Cosby’s 15 points, the Lady’Backs placed two others in double figures. Ervin scored 11 and Sarah Pfeifer, 10 in the loss. LSU’s Sylvia Fowles hit a game high 23 points and grabbed 20 rebounds for the Tigers. Her 20 spot on the boards was the second-highest total by a player in Bud Walton Arena history. Other LSU players to score in double digits were Quianna Chaney (21) and Erica White (15).
The Lady Razorbacks are back in action on Sunday afternoon when they travel to Lexington, Ky., to take on the Kentucky Wildcats at 2:00 p.m. For more information about Lady Razorback basketball or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to LADYBACKS.COM.