Vaden Makes First Start In Almost A Year

FAYETTEVILLE -- Ruby Vaden, a 6-foot-3 junior center for Arkansas, started Thursday night for the first time in more than 11 months -- since Feb. 1, 2004 at Mississippi State.

Vaden, named Second-Team All-Southeastern Conference in preseason, had five points and four rebounds in 13 first-half minutes against Florida while staying out of foul trouble.

Despite having fouled frequently in recent games, Vaden finished this game with no fouls, 9 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocked shots and a steal against a sagging Gators defense...

Sarah Pfeifer, who has come off the bench at forward in all 13 Arkansas games this season, started the second half for the Lady Razorbacks in place of Danielle Allen.

Referee Dee Kantner, a former NBA official, asked Pfeifer just before the second half about her injured right shoulder.

"It pops into place every now and then, huh?" Kantner said to Pfeifer, grinning.

Arkansas had a 26-game home winning streak against unranked teams ended by Florida on Thursday night, 68-56...

The Gators are now 1-1 in true road games this season, having lost their previous road contest to Baylor...

Florida's schedule this season was rated fifth toughest in the country by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association...

Both Arkansas and Florida were expected to use full-court presses, but neither team pressed much, perhaps in deference to the other's quickness.

"We just tried to play very aggressive halfcourt defense," said UF coach Carolyn Peck. "Our practice guys have beaten the mess out of us the last two days."

The tough practices paid off, as Florida forced 14 first-half Arkansas turnovers.

"Not only did we have the turnovers, but we turned it over in the open court with no one back on defense," said UA coach Susie Gardner. "That killed us."

Florida had averaged 62 shots per game with its quick tempo this season and managed 59 on Thursday, but Arkansas got even more shots -- 65...

On the eve of her 21st birthday, Florida junior center Brittany Davis had nine points and six offensive rebounds against Arkansas.

Davis missed two free throws in the late going with Florida ahead 63-54, but Bernice Mosby kept the possession alive with an offensive rebound.

"Not boxing out there really hurt us," Gardner said.

The Gators missed a subsequent field goal try, but Tashia Morehead got another offensive rebound, resulting in a 46-second possession before Kristin Peoples made a steal for Arkansas with 2:01 to go. Peoples was fouled and had a chance to cut Florida's lead to seven points, but missed the one-and-one.

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