FAYETTEVILLE – Freshmen Tanisha Smith scored a career high 23 points to lead the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback basketball team to a 35-point, 97-62 win over Portland State University at Bud Walton Arena on Friday night.
The win improves the Lady Razorbacks to 8-1 on the year while Portland State falls to 2-5. Arkansas’ 97 points are the most that it has scored in a game since last November when it drained 99 against Memphis in a 46-point win.
“Coach has been talking to us about being relentless, and tonight we showed a little bit of that,” Smith said. “We played together more as a team, and it showed.”
Fellow freshman Donica Cosby scored 17 points and junior Lauren Ervine registered her second career double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
“Tanisha had one of her best offensive outputs so far this year, Donica has proven she can be a night-in, night-out scorer and Lauren quietly gets a double-double,” UA head coach Susie Gardner said. “We didn’t start the game with it, but we have been talking a lot about the word relentless. As this team begins to mature, that relentlessness is starting to show on the court.”
A slow start for both teams kept the score low, but four Lady Razorback turnovers over the opening three minutes allowed the Vikings to build a 7-1 lead despite shooting just three of six from the floor and missing a pair of uncontested shots. The Lady Razorbacks were a disappointing 0-5 shooting and hit just one of two from the charity stripe during the same stretch.
Arkansas scratched back to within one, 14-13, then launched on a 33-8 run fueled by Ervin’s power on the inside to finish the half ahead of Portland State by double, 44-22.
Ervin had a buzzer beating rebound put back for the final points of the opening half, and came within a rebound of a double-double in the first 20 minutes with 12 points and nine rebounds by intermission
Conceding the first points of the second half, the Lady Razorbacks then went on a blistering 6-0 spurt over a mere 27 seconds which included a pair of steals and quick layups. In that span, the Vikings failed to move the ball over half court. It was a tough game for the Vikings from that point on as Arkansas continued to pressure in back court and force turnovers.
“That was the kind of play that we mean when we talk about relentless,” Gardner said.
The Vikings and Lady Razorbacks traded buckets for a majority of the second half, but consistent Arkansas pressure down the stretch allowed the Lady’Backs to extend their lead late.
Portland State had two players in double figures, Kelsey Kahle and Jenni Ritter who had 18 and 10 points, respectively.
The Lady Razorbacks are back in action on Sunday afternoon when they take on Texas Southern at Bud Walton Arena at 2:00 p.m.
“It’s another quick turnaround for our team, but we’ve had so many of them this year we’re getting use to it,” Gardner said.
For more information about Lady Razorback basketball or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to LADYBACKS.COM.