Price Too High For Lady'Backs

OXFORD, Miss. -- Armintie Price had a simple explanation for her dominance of Arkansas in the Ole Miss women's 85-73 win on Sunday.

"I was just playing ball," Price said.

Price recorded a double-double for the Lady Rebels with 17 points and 17 rebounds. She added 6 steals for good measure.

So was 6-foot-3 Ole Miss center Amber Watts, who had 21 points and 12 rebounds while becoming the 20th Lady Rebel to crack the career 1,000-point mark.

Ole Miss advanced to 11-4 and 1-1 in the Southeastern Conference, while Arkansas dipped to 10-4 and 0-3.

"We played like a great SEC team today," said Ole Miss coach Carol Ross. "Georgia kicked us in the gut on Thursday, but we had great effort and great energy today."

Watts joked, "Now I just want to score 1,016 points and outdo what Coach Ross scored at Ole Miss."

Watts used a quick first step to get Arkansas center Ruby Vaden in foul trouble early, and Vaden finished the game with four fouls in just four minutes played.

The result was that UA 6-foot sophomore forwards Danielle Allen (career-high 22 points, career-high 10 rebounds) and Sarah Pfeifer (15 points) played a lot of minutes together, with good offensive production, but limited defensive presence.

"We've been looking for different combinations, with Kristin Moore out for the season," Allen said. "I like playing with ‘Fife' because I know she's going to give it her all while she's out there."

Guard Rochelle Vaughn added 17 points and 7 rebounds for Arkansas, making 5-of-9 3-point shots.

"We're going to be small the rest of the year," said Arkansas coach Susie Gardner. "We haven't really practiced with Danielle and Sarah together all year, but we're going to have to do it more."

Pfeifer, whose 13-point second half helped Arkansas pull within 73-67 with 5 minutes, 3 seconds remaining, said, "Danielle and I have been playing together since junior high (AAU ball), so we've gotta just get comfortable with it again. We're midgets compared with those (Ole Miss) people out there."

Pfeifer raved about Watts' play, which included a left-handed hook shot with Allen in her face.

Watts scored 10 points in just nine minutes in a foul-plagued first half, but Arkansas couldn't capitalize on her absence or the second-half injury to Lady Rebels point guard Carletta Brown (13 points), who turned her left ankle with 9:30 left and did not return.

"I thought when we cut it to six we had a chance to win," Gardner said. "We got our fire back. But it was an up-and-down game emotionally, and we had to exert a lot of energy."

Sheree Thompson and Vaughn missed open 3-point attempts that could have sliced Arkansas' deficit further, and Ashley Johnson's 3-point play on the other end restored a 76-67 Lady Rebels lead.

Similarly, in the first half Arkansas whittled a 33-24 deficit to 36-35 behind two Vaughn 3-pointers and one by Melissa Hobbs, only to watch Ole Miss race back to a 46-37 halftime lead.

For a change, shooting was not the problem for Arkansas (41.8 percent to Ole Miss' 39.7). Rebounding was. The Lady Rebs had a commanding 58-38 board advantage, including 25 offensive rebounds (7 by Price).

Price, who also got 17 rebounds against Arkansas last season, matched her career high.

"It's not a news flash," Gardner said. "Ole Miss just hustled and went hard to the glass."

The Lady Rebs scored 24 first-half points in the paint.

"I think battles in the SEC are won or lost in the paint," Ross said. "Today I think Amber got the first step and made the defender react. The first thing you do is foul in that situation."

Arkansas goes from the SEC frying pan to the fire, visiting No. 10 Tennessee (10-3) on Thursday.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories