FAYETTEVILLE – Freshmen Whitney Jones and Dominique Washington scored 21 and 18 each to lead the way for the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback basketball team in an 84-57 victory against the University of Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos, 84-57 on Sunday afternoon at Bud Walton Arena.
Arkansas’ victory moves it to 4-3 on the season, while UMKC drops to 2-5.
“We have to be able to put team away,” Arkansas head coach Susie Gardner said. “I think that we did that today. Whitney Jones went to the glass and got the offensive rebounds. Dominique is learning the defensive schemes and is getting better all the time.”
Jones picked up her first double-double of her career with a career best 10 rebounds to go with her near-career high 21. The 6-1 Blytheville, Ark., freshman had 22 in the season opener.
“Coach told me to come out and play defense and go to the glass hard,” Jones said.
The Lady Razorbacks changed their game plan in the second half, stepping up their perimeter defense to hold the Kangaroos to just three shots from beyond the arc. UMKC used the three-point game to pull themselves back in the first half, but without the advantage of the long shot struggled to keep up with the athleticism of Arkansas’ guards.
“It’s a lot easier when we have balance in the offense because the other teams don’t know who to defend,” UA junior guard Kristin Peoples said.
Arkansas’ lead throughout the contest allowed it to play more of its younger players giving freshmen like Jones, Washington, and Ayana Brereton quality minutes on the floor. The Lady Razorbacks nailed 52 percent of their attempts for the contest, including 52.9 percent from three-point range.
Four Lady Razorbacks hit for double-digits. Along with Jones and Washington, Peoples scored 15, all on three-point shots and senior Rochelle Vaughn hit for 12. Jones also led the way with 10 rebounds for the first double-double of her career.
Arkansas started the game slow, but crushed the Kangaroos with an 11-0 run to take control of the game in the early minutes and did not look back.
After missing its first five from behind the arc, UMKC hit their next five threes including back-to-back shots to cut Arkansas’ lead to under 10 points. The Lady Razorbacks were not without their long-ball moments either as they poured in six of 10 in the first half. Peoples led the three-point effort with four treys in five opportunities.
“Kristin made a concious effort throughout the summer to improve her three-point percentage,” Gardner said. “She gave us a boost and actually carried us, while they were in a zone.”
Arkansas returns to action Tuesday, Dec. 6, traveling to Western Kentucky for a non-conference contest, followed by a game against Nicholls State in Hot Springs, Ark., Dec. 15. Arkansas returns to Bud Walton Arena hosting Texas-Pan American, Dec. 18. For more information about Lady Razorback basketball or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.