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School-record steals power Arkansas past Centenary

BY ANDRES FOCIL
School-record steals power Arkansas past Centenary

FAYETTEVILLE – Junior Ruby Vaden came off the bench to score 18 points to lead three Lady Razorbacks in double digits as the University of Arkansas used 41 turnovers and a school-record 28 steals to dominate Centenary College in a non-conference blowout, 86-52, in Bud Walton Arena Sunday. The Lady Razorbacks (2-0) recorded a school and arena record 28 steals and for the second game in a row forced more than 40 turnovers from the opponent. Arkansas came close to breaking the one-game-old record set Friday when Arkansas created 45 turnovers from Alabama State. “We are going have to step up and force turnovers and play a full-court game,” said Arkansas head coach Susie Gardner. “We did a good job of that today. I was pleased with how our posts played in transition but we need to be able to adjust in the press. We can’t go for turnovers every play. Sometimes we have to let the ball come to us.” Sheree Thompson grabbed a career high eight steals while Kristin Peoples added a career-tying six in the win. The steal record dated back to the first season of conference play at Arkansas when the Lady’Backs forced 26 steals from Texas Christian on Jan. 11, 1983. Ironically, the arena record was also set against TCU in 1995. Arkansas’ desire to run was evident to start the second half as increased its halftime lead in the opening moments of the frame. The Lady’Backs went on to outscore Centenary 11-4 in the first five minutes and out-paced the Ladies 35-27 in the second half. In addition the Lady’Backs put together a balanced offensive attack with nearly everyone scoring led by an 18-point game from Vaden. Rochelle Vaughn added 16 points and April Seggebruch rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 for Arkansas. “We practice our press defense all the time,” said Peoples. “It caused some turnovers and we had some fun doing it. We are trying to use these games to improve our press and our overall game before SEC play begins.” Arkansas had its most productive game ever off turnovers as the Lady’Backs scored an unofficial record 43 points from the 41 Centenary turnovers. Thompson was a key part of the defense-to-offense transition with five assists to go with her eight steals. Thompson tied the school record for most steals by a junior set by Angela Davis in 1991. The Centenary miscues sparked a 10- point performance from Vaughn at the half. Arkansas’ offense was solid shooting 51.3 percent from the floor including a 62.5 percent performance from the line giving the home team a 51-25 halftime advantage. The Lady’Backs controlled the game tempo forcing 27 turnovers at the half and had scored 34 points off those turnovers in the first frame. Vaughn was the lone player in the double figures but not the only Lady’Back who had a good first half. Seggebruch turned in seven first-half points and Sarah Pfeifer and Vaden each added six while Thompson had six steals at the break The Lady Razorbacks return to action Nov. 25-26 at the Flint Hills Resources Islander Classic in Corpus Christi, Texas. Arkansas opens holiday tournament play with #14 Purdue in a 6:00 p.m., contest followed by either Texas A&M-Corpus Christi or Idaho State on Sunday. For more information about Arkansas basketball log on to www.ladybacks.com.



Sports Category : Basketball (W)