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Pfeifer Allen give all Arkansas comes up short with UK

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Pfeifer Allen give all Arkansas comes up short with UK

LEXINGTON, Ky. – A career high tying effort from Arkansas sophomore Sarah Pfeifer ran into a career game from senior Sarah Potts as the Kentucky Wildcats outlasted the Lady Razorbacks in a rough-and-tumble game at Memorial Coliseum, 73-67. The loss drops Arkansas to 15-12 on the year and 3-11 in SEC play. The Lady’Backs enter next weekend’s SEC Tournament as the 11th seed. Kentucky, 15-14, is the 10th seed with the win. Arkansas plays at 8:30 p.m. central time at the tournament this Thursday againsta team to be determined.“We’ll put this behind us and go into the tournament with the feeling that everyone is 0-0 when it starts,” UA head coach Susie Gardner said. “We played decent, but this was a winnable game and it’s disappointing when games get away from you,” Pfeifer said. Pfeifer tied her career best with 24 points, but was slowed in the last minutes of the game after taking an elbow to the jaw from Samantha Mahoney. “She got jacked in the jaw pretty hard,” Gardner said. “She had a tough day, giving up about six inches to their post player, but she’s got a heart as big as anyone in the conference.” Pfeifer left the game with just over two minutes left and was unable to return. She was examined after the game by the UK team physician, who determined she had a sprained jaw and perhaps a slight concussion. “Sarah and Danielle played with heart, and they showed us that they are fighting to the end,” Gardner said. “We just didn’t have five players at one time during the game.” Potts led all scorers with 27 points, equaling Pfeifer’s 10 field goals but making it to the free throw line more times than the Lady’Back leader. “We wanted to keep her from getting the ball, and we did a good job of preventing her from taking passes, but she worked to get the ball on rebounds and found her shot in other ways,” Gardner said. Arkansas pulled within a bucket several times during the second half, only to have timely Kentucky buckets – many from Potts – prevent the Lady’Backs from taking the lead. The Lady’Backs cut the UK lead to one twice in the second half, the latest coming off a pair of free throws by Kristin Peoples, 50-49, with 11:29 left. Arkansas missed a pair of three-point attempts that could have given the Lady’Backs the lead, but Danielle Payne and Potts combined to push the lead back to six. “It seemed like a one-on-one game the entire second half,” Gardner said. “If we could have just gotten the lead, I feel like we could have taken control of the game.” After Arkansas pulled back within three on a Rochelle Vaughn trey, Potts and Payne combined for back-to-back layups to give UK its largest lead of the game, 62-54, with 7:52 to play Vaughn responded again with a three-pointer, and the two teams traded shots to keep the Kentucky lead four to six points. A three-point play from Pfiefer cut the lead to four, 66-62, at 4:53, then a pair of free throws from Danyelle Payne at 4:25 pushed UK back to six. The defenses took over for the next three minutes as neither team could score. Peoples’ jumper with 1:57 broke the scoring drought, but Potts struck again to push the margin back to six. Kentucky managed to hit its free throws against the furious Arkansas comeback attempt in the closing minute to keep the win. Pfeifer and Allen got Arkansas off to a fast start as Pfeifer hit four of her first five shots and the Lady’Backs led 10-7. Kentucky’s seniors led by Potts pulled the Wildcats to an early lead, 12-10, on a three-pointer and layup that proved to be the go-ahead basket at 12:48 in the first half. For the game, Arkansas had four players in double digits led by Pfeifer’s 24. Vaughn finished with 15 points while Allen had 12 and Peoples 10. For Kentucky, Sarah Elliott was the only other Wildcat in double figures with 11, but UK had scoring from eight of its nine players. Arkansas shot 37.5% from the field for the game, and forced 20 turnovers out of the Wildcats. It wasn’t enough to overcome the 48% shooting from the field and the 14-of-19 free throw shooting by UK. The Wildcats made more free throws than the Lady’Backs shot in the game as Arkansas went only 7-of-11 from the line, and had only six free throws in the crucial second half.



Sports Category : Basketball (W)