Sarah Smiles

FAYETTEVILLE -- Sarah Pfeifer scored a career-high 21 points as Arkansas defeated Mississippi State 83-71 on Sunday and halted the Lady Bulldogs' school-record 12-game winning streak.

The Lady Razorbacks (11-5, 1-4 in the Southeastern Conference) enjoyed picking on someone their own size for a change.

Mississippi State (13-3) slipped to 2-1 in the SEC.

Pfeifer, who had shot 1 of 8 from the field in a 72-54 loss at No. 8 Tennessee on Thursday, noticed the difference Sunday as Mississippi State started no one taller than six feet.

"Against Tennessee, if you didn't push them out to the free throw line, they were still going to jump over you and get the rebound," Pfeifer said.

Arkansas matched Mississippi State's 42 rebounds, with 5-foot-9 guard Rochelle Vaughn leading with eight and 5-7 guard Kristin Peoples nabbing a career-high seven.

Lady'Backs guard Adrienne Bush had five rebounds to go with a career-high 13 points and a solid defensive job on MSU senior star Tan White, who scored just four of her 29 points in the first half on 1 of 6 shooting.

Arkansas led at halftime (33-26) for the first time in 2005 and increased that margin to 59-41 on a steal and jumper by Pfeifer with 10 minutes remaining.

"I'm happy for our players," said Arkansas coach Susie Gardner. "We had a couple of real good days of practice, and got off to the best start I can remember this season."

The Lady'Backs erased an early 4-0 deficit with a 17-0 run to go up 17-4, only to have MSU soon counter with its own 17-0 run to take a 23-19 lead.

But Arkansas, encouraged by a season-high crowd of 3,393 in Bud Walton Arena, kept plugging and finished the first half on a 14-3 run for its 33-26 edge.

"You've got to give credit to Arkansas," said Mississippi State coach Sharon Fanning. "They played very hard. They had 21 assists, and took the ball at us the whole game."

The Lady Razorbacks scored 50 points in the paint and got a season-high 71 points from their five starters. Peoples broke a two-game scoring drought with 16 points, Danielle Allen scored 12 and Vaughn had 9.

"We had that one lull, but a lot of players made big plays," Gardner said. "Brittney Vaughn had six rebounds, and April Seggebruch helped us with five assists."

Gardner did her part by drawing up seven successful in-bounds plays, including several for Pfeifer.

"Sarah was our go-to player," Gardner said. "She played 29 minutes -- more than we'd like. She had ice on her shoulder, and I'm telling her to go back in.

Guard Tiania Burns scored 15 points for Mississippi State, but shot just 1 of 7 in the first half and finished with eight of her team's 15 turnovers.

Mamie McKinney had 12 points and 9 rebounds for the Lady Bulldogs.

Arkansas shot an uncharacteristically high 51 percent from the field, to MSU's 37 percent.

"Arkansas was very, very hungry, and it didn't look like we had an interest in winning this game," Fanning said. "In the SEC, you can't play a few minutes here and there. Arkansas played very aggressively the whole game."

Although the Lady'Backs scored a season-low 12 bench points, 6-2 Kristina Andjelkovic provided a lift by tying her season high of 8 points in a reserve role.

Pfeifer, who said joy was the theme at her church on Sunday morning, exclaimed, "Hallelujah!" after the game.

Peoples added, "This gets the monkey off our back. We had lost three games in a row."

Gardner said it felt like the first win of 2005, because Arkansas' 66-54 win at Cincinnati on Jan. 2 was dampened by a season-ending knee injury to starting center Kristin Moore.

"We've had to reinvent ourselves," Gardner said. "Whatever each player does best, she has to bring that to the table for us. Today everyone did that."

The Lady'Backs next play at No. 3 LSU on Thursday night.

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