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Treys away as Arkansas’ long shots sink UMKC 69-46

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Treys away as Arkansas’ long shots sink UMKC 69-46

KANSAS CITY – Led by 12 points each from juniors Sheree Thompson and Rochelle Vaughn, the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks rained down a school-record number of three-pointers to defeat the Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos, 69-46, in women’s collegiate basketball at the Swinney Recreation Center. Arkansas, 13-6 overall, wins its second consecutive game and third in the past four by hitting a season-high 12 three-point goals. The Lady’Backs combined the offensive outburst with its best defensive game of the season holding UMKC, 6-12, to an Arkansas opponent season low 46 points. Thompson came into game with six three-pointers on the season, but the junior sank four three-pointers to lead the Lady Razorback shooting spree. “Where’s that been all year,” Gardner laughed. “We knew with their size and numbers that they would pack it in so we worked extra this week against the zone.” Thompson attributed the three-point turnaround to extra work by the team the past few days. “We’ve been coming in on our own between classes to shoot, and we’ll go for 45 minutes to an hour of just shooting,” Thompson said. “We’d just shoot until our arm’s fell off.” The only thing falling in Kansas City was Arkansas’ long-range shooting with a season high 12 made three-pointers and a hailstorm of shots – 32 which set the school record for attempts in a game. “Is shooting contagious – yes it is,” Gardner said. “Sheree hit those first three of four and it went from there.” A three-point play and a three-pointer from Jowan Ortega cut the Arkansas halftime lead to 12, 42-30, as the Lady’Backs were sluggish out of the locker room to begin the second half. “I was worried about that all day and it caught up with us when they closed to 12,” Gardner said. “I’m glad that our bench stepped in and gave us a spark.” Arkansas had spent too much time with the three-pointer, and Gardner called time out to adjust her team’s offense. “We needed to get the ball down low more in the second half, and we did that later when we pushed it to Sarah,” Gardner said. Pfeifer hit most of her eight second half points in near succession as the Lady’Backs regained their offensive momentum. Then the three-pointers resumed as Arkansas pulled away in the final minutes. Arkansas led by as many as 27 after a Melissa Hobbs’ two-pointer made the score 66-39 with 3:13 left to play. “The bench was really into this game, and after what we’ve been through the last week that was very important,” Gardner said. An opening three-pointer from Peoples set the tone for the game as Arkansas got more than half of its first-half field goals from behind the arc. Combined with a pair of stick back jumpers from Vaughn gave Arkansas the opening lead, 9-4. The Kangaroos pulled with one with layups from Klein and Fields, but Arkansas pulled away with a 21-4 run keyed by a pair of three-pointers each from April Seggebruch and Thompson to lead 30-12 at the seven minute mark. The Lady’Backs hit six of their first 12 three-point attempts, scoring 18 of the opening 28 points from behind the arc. For the first half, Arkansas had seven total three-pointers, one shy of the season high of eight for a game from the Florida game. UMKC was accurate against Arkansas, hitting 50% from the field in the first half, but could not hang onto the basketball against the Lady’Backs’ defense. Arkansas had seven first-half steals and forced 15 turnovers leading to 13 points. Meanwhile, Arkansas had only five turnovers. With Thompson and Vaughn, Arkansas had 11 points from Pfeifer as the entire team played and 10 of the 11 players scored. The closing highlight of the game came in the last two minutes as walk-on senior Allison Singleton drained the 12th three-pointer of the game, her first bucket as a Lady Razorback. Arkansas returns home for an open date in the SEC schedule on Thursday before facing Ole Miss on Sunday afternoon at Bud Walton Arena at 2 p.m.



Sports Category : Basketball (W)