FAYETTEVILLE – Junior Ayana Brereton dropped in 17 points to lead the Univ. of Arkansas Lady Razorback basketball team to a 79-63 win over Clemson Univ. at Bud Walton Arena on Sunday afternoon.
The victory keeps Arkansas perfect on the year at 8-0 overall, it also matched the Lady Razorbacks best start in school history. Prior to this season, Arkansas had gone 8-0 during the 1999-2000 campaign. Clemson’s loss drops it to 4-5.
“I thought that this was a good win for us,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “The defense wasn’t as solid as I would have liked, but we stepped up and shot the ball well. If we could do both on the same night I think that we are a pretty good team.”
Arkansas used inside power to drive a fast start in both halves, taking a 16-2 margin in second-half points as the Lady’Backs built out to a significant double-digit lead in the early second half.
“We knew coming in that this would be a tough place to play,” Clemson coach Cristy McKinney said. “If Arkansas shoots that well all year it will win a lot of games.”
Arkansas jumped out to a 7-0 lead before a three pointer by Clemson got the Tigers on the board at 16:38 in the first period. Arkansas’ hot hand continued through the first five minutes of the game but Clemson rallied near the mid-point of the frame tightening the score.
Clemson would eventually erase Arkansas’ early lead when it tied the game at 11. The Tigers would even take their first lead of the contest at the 11:29 mark, but the Lady Razorbacks would quickly regain control. A third tie between the two opponents would come at 23 with 8:39 left to play but the event was short lived as Arkansas would use it to propel itself to a 12-2 run over the next six minutes to grab a 10-point lead. The Lady Razorback advantage would stand at nine at the half.
The Lady Razorbacks would keep the same intensity and fire that drove it in the opening 20 minutes well into the second half as they increased their lead to as many as 21 with a 12-3 start to the second half. Pounding Clemson on the inside then lighting them up from the perimeter, the Lady’Back inside-out game contributed 11 three-pointers in the contest as well as 16 second chance points and 16 points in the paint.
Clemson made a 7-0 a run at the Lady Razorbacks midway through the second half, but back-to-back threes by Charity Ford seemed to end the Tigers comeback hopes.
“Any time you get a win against a good opponent you have to be happy,” Collen said. “Clemson is very representative of lower to middle of SEC team. I hope that we continue to play as well offensively and if so we can be a competitive team. This was our most complete game offensively.”
Four Lady Razorbacks scored in double figures on the evening. Behind Brereton’s 17, seniors Lauren Ervin and Whitney Jones scored 15 and Ford had 13. Clemson’s Morganne Campbell led the Tigers with 16 points.
Ervin added 12 rebounds for her third double-double of the season, moving her past Arkansas all-American Shameka Christon for career doubles.
The Lady Razorbacks are back at Bud Walton Arena on Tuesday evening when they host Sam Houston St. at 7:00 p.m. For more information about Lady Razorback basketball or about Arkansas women’s athletics, visit LADYBACKS.com.