FAYETTEVILLE – One of the best defensive efforts of the year was wasted as the Arkansas Lady Razorback basketball team fell to the Vanderbilt Commodores at Bud Walton Arena on Sunday afternoon, 61-34.
The Lady Razorbacks held one of the nation’s top offensive teams to only 61 points, and became only the second team to hold the vaunted Vandy shooters under 40% from the field. Unfortunately, Arkansas missed its first 15 shots on the way to a season-low themselves.
The loss drops the Lady Razorbacks to 18-5 on the year and 3-4 in SEC play while Vanderbilt imrpoves to 18-4 and 4-3 in league action.
“If you had told me before the game that we would have held Vandy to 61 points, I’d have said we’d be right in there,” UA head coach Susie Gardner said.
“We held a team that averages 80 to 60 and they only shot in the 30’s,” UA senior post Sarah Pfeifer said. “We met our defensive goals, but we didn’t get it done on offense.”
Arkansas did not score their first points until the 10:49 mark when Tanisha Smith sank a driving layup on a crisp pass from Pfeifer. Not just missing shots, the Lady Razorbacks missed them from all over the floor including four from three-point land and two from the free-throw line spotting Vanderbilt to a 16-0 lead.
“You would think that at some point they would start falling, but we never got in sync today,” Gardner said.
Following Arkansas’ first basket things didn’t get much easier. The Lady’Backs shooting continued to be an issue for more than 15 minutes and it wasn’t until the waning moments of the half when their scoring picked up, but just slightly. A pair of free throws by Lauren Ervin with just 2:20 to play gave Arkansas 12 points and prevented it from setting a record for futility in a half. An Ervin layup in the final minute prevented the same mark for an SEC contest by giving Arkansas 14 points. The half would end with Vanderbilt holding a commanding 30-14 lead.
“It was a frustating day, but we can’t let that get our heads down because it’s over, and we’ve got more games to play,” Ervin said.
Arkansas’ second-half performance was slightly better than the first as it scored 20 points over the final 20 minutes. Donica Cosby picked up her scoring effort in the second half with seven points which Ervin’s five in the half made up a majority of Arkansas’ effort.
Arkansas inability to score set a school record for fewest points in an SEC game at 34, breaking the mark that the 2003 Lady Razorbacks set at Auburn (36). The Lady Razoracks also several other SEC game marks, including worst field goal percentage.
The Lady Razorbacks are back in action on Thursday evening, Feb. 1, when they travel to Starkville, Miss., to take on Mississippi State Univ. For more information about Lady Razorback basketball or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to LADYBACKS.COM.