Everyone's Internet Edges Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE -- Jocelynn Penn still knows how to menace the Lady Razorbacks basketball team.

Penn, who scored 30 points for South Carolina two years ago in an 80-59 win over Arkansas, settled for 26 points on Friday night as her Everyone's Internet team edged a spirited Arkansas bunch 80-77.

Sarah Pfeifer and Sheree Thompson, two players who were injured last season, led Arkansas with 17 and 16 points respectively in the exhibition before 633 fans in Bud Walton Arena.

"This is a totally different Arkansas team," Penn said. "I'm so used to seeing Shameka Christon out there. Arkansas is a good running team; I was surprised by all their transition baskets. And they were very aggressive on defense."

Thompson and Adrienne Bush had several steals-and-layups in a first half that saw Arkansas take a startling 41-32 lead over the visiting team of former college stars.

But Everyone's Internet surprised the pressing Lady'Backs with a press of their own at the start of the second half and quickly reeled Arkansas in.

Penn raced for 18 of her 26 points in the second half, and teammate Kesha Watson hit a big 3 off a double screen to put Everyone's Internet up 59-58 with 11 minutes remaining.

"I think our press caught their players off guard," said Everyone's Internet coach Kevin Cook. "We needed some energy because we were sluggish in the first half."

The visitors (3-1) had arisen at 4:30 a.m. daily to play four games in four nights, beginning with a 78-70 loss to No. 2 LSU.

"Arkansas played us as tough as anybody, and that includes LSU," Cook said.

The Lady'Backs won the rebounding battle 34-32, but allowed Everyone's Internet to make 58.9 percent of its shots.

Pfeifer remembered her matchup against Penn two years ago very well.

"My freshman year, I played when Shameka got tired," Pfeifer recalled. "Penn was tired and I was fresh, so it was a decent matchup. But she beat me several times tonight."

By pre-arrangement with UA trainer Phill Vardiman, Lady'Backs coach Susie Gardner played 6-foot-3 center Ruby Vaden just four minutes because of her preseason knee surgery.

Vaden made her only shot and it pulled Arkansas within 61-60.

But after Kristin Peoples took a charge for Arkansas, Thompson missed a layup and then Danielle Allen (8 points, 8 rebounds) missed a one-and-one. Penn quickly made two field goals, and Everyone's Internet led the rest of the way.

The Lady'Backs did battle from a 71-62 deficit to within 79-75 with 26.7 seconds left, but could not get a shot off.

Peoples' two free throws with 6.3 ticks left made it 80-77 and Rochelle Vaughn made a brief steal after the throw-in but couldn't maintain control.

"Arkansas needs to secure more ball-handling, and Ruby will shore up their inside defense," Cook said. "Susie's teams will always get after you."

Thompson said she thought she and the other Lady'Backs played good team basketball.

"We want more turnovers and easy layups," Pfeifer said. "Last year we didn't press at all."

Arkansas got 16 of its 41 first-half points on steals or fast breaks.

But Toccara Williams, a ball-handling wizard from Texas A&M, settled Everyone's Internet with nine assists, as did Felicia Ragland of Oregon State.

Summer Erb of North Carolina State, 6-foot-6 and sturdy, set some teeth-rattling picks on Peoples and Pfeifer.

"I don't know what I can say that's politically correct, but that's a big girl," Pfeifer said, grinning. "Everyone's Internet was as tough as an SEC team. They were quick, too. LSU's players talked about that."

Pfeifer said the visitors snatched some rebounds away from Arkansas, "and that doesn't need to happen. We need to chin the ball."

Gardner got tired just watching.

"I forgot how exhausting these games were," she said. "I saw some very good things and some things to work on. We have a long weekend to work -- three hours on Saturday and three hours on Sunday."

Gardner said she was "kind of excited before the game -- like a surprise birthday party. You didn't know who would step up. In the Red-White game it was Danielle and April Seggebruch. Tonight it was Sarah and Sheree. We'll be tough to prepare for if we keep that kind of balance."

Kristin Moore had 11 points and 7 rebounds for Arkansas, while Pfeifer also had 7 rebounds.

Dee Dee Warley scored 14 off the bench for Everyone's Internet to complement the red-hot Penn (11 of 13). Ragland had 10 points.

Arkansas plays next against Athletes in Action on Thursday in Walton Arena.

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