FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas women’s basketball team surrendered a 10-point lead losing to No. 25 Vanderbilt in Southeastern Conference action in Bud Walton Arena Sunday, 67-61.
Arkansas (9-12, 1-7 SEC) was up eight, 39-31, at the half over Vanderbilt (16-5, 5-4 SEC) but was 4-for-24 in the final 13 minutes losing the game.
“We felt so prepared and ready to play today,” sophomore Lyndsay Harris said. “This loss hurts maybe more than any other this year. We were so close — the victory was right there.”
Harris led all scorers with 20 points and had four rebounds. Senior Charity Ford had 12 points and seven boards before fouling out with under a minute to play.
Vanderbilt had four players in double-figures led by Elan Brown’s 16 points on a 4-for-6 day from three-point range.
Arkansas was good in the first half shooting 55.6 percent on a 15-for-27 performance. A scoring flurry near the end of the first half saw Arkansas score six in a row behind tenacious defense that created a couple VU turnovers. Arkansas stretched the lead to eight, 39-31, at the break.
The teams were tied at 27-all with 4:51 to play in the half when the Razorbacks went on an 11-4 run with key baskets from Harris, Ford, and freshman Dominique Robinson. Robinson finished the game with six points and four rebounds.
The second half started with a momentum change as Vanderbilt hit a three in the opening seconds. Arkansas regrouped and pushed the lead to 10, 44-34, but Vanderbilt chipped away at the score and came up with some big defensive stops thanks to a 2-3 zone that kept Arkansas out of the paint and off the glass.
“They used a lot of different defensive looks in the first half but went with the zone in second half and we didn’t adjust,” said Arkansas head coach Tom Collen. “This was a very winnable game but we let it get away.”
The ninth tie of the game came at 6:31 when the Commodores picked Arkansas’ pocket and got a layup knotting the score. They would never surrender the lead as the Razorback shooting went cold.
Arkansas finished the day shooting 36.5 percent and as 23-for-63. The Razorbacks hit five threes and was 10-for-16 from the line.
The Razorbacks travel to No. 5 Tennessee Thursday and host No. 23 Kentucky Sunday, Feb. 7, as the season continues.