LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Junior Sheree Thompson scored a career high 20 points to lead the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback basketball team to a 82-68 win over the University of Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns at Alltel Arena in Little Rock, Ark., on Thursday night.
The win improves Arkansas to 8-1 on the season while La.-Lafayette falls to 7-2.
After using a 10-0 run in the first half to take command in the first half, Arkansas wore down its opponent with stifling defense and a hot hand from the floor in the second. Arkansas used a 13-6 run over five minutes down the stretch to open up a commanding 14-point lead.
“During the break we worked on offense every day and were very specific about our offense and it played off tonight,” Arkansas head coach Susie Gardner said. “I was in the locker room and anxious to get out because I could hear the fans.”
“Everyone was standing and cheering on our full court press,” junior Sarah Pfeifer said. “I usually don’t pay attention to the crowd but they made themselves known tonight.”
After a quick timeout by the visitors, the Ragin’ Cajuns quickly hit a pair of buckets, but a Kristin Peoples three quieted the comeback effort. Following the trey, Arkansas would go on another mini run that saw its lead balloon to 20 in the closing moments.
Arkansas opened the first half behind the hot hand of Thompson who hit the Lady’Backs first seven points. Holding the early lead, several missed opportunities by Arkansas were converted by the Ragin’ Cajuns allowing them to jump ahead at the first media timeout. Behind by three, the Lady’Backs used defense to create offensive chances as they retook the lead 22-20 at the eight minute mark.
“Sheree played an outstanding offensive game,” Gardner said. “She had more confidence and an understanding of our offense and was our spark tonight. When she just plays her game she has great vision and makes great passes.”
The Lady Razorbacks two-point lead grew to a first half high of nine just five minutes later as Arkansas went on a 13-2 run over seven minutes. During the stretch the Ragin’ Cajun’s made four turnovers as the Lady Razorbacks picked up seven steals in the period to stay on pace with their national leading average. The first half would end with Arkansas holding a seven-point lead, 35-28.
“You have to give credit to the Lady Razorbacks for their ball pressure,” La.-Lafayette coach J. Kelley Hall said. “We had to make them shoot the three and they shot well.”
Behind Thompson’s 20, junior Sarah Pfeifer came off the bench to score 19 and Rochelle Vaughn poured in 15 more to lead the Lady Razorbacks. La.-Lafayette’s Anna Petrakova led all scorers with 22 points.
For more information about Lady Razorback basketball or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.