Potts Outguns Pfeifer; UK Edges Arkansas

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Arkansas sophomore Sarah Pfeifer finished the Kentucky game Sunday with a career-high-matching 24 points, 7 rebounds, two iced shoulders, a sore jaw and lots of frustration.

Sara Potts one-upped Pfeifer with 27 points and 10 rebounds as Kentucky held off the spirited Lady Razorbacks 73-67 before 5,837 fans in Memorial Coliseum on Senior Day.

The outcome gave Kentucky (15-14, 4-10 in the Southeastern conference) the No. 10 seed in the SEC Tournament this week at Greenville, S.C., and consigned Arkansas to the 11th seed and an 8:15 p.m. game Thursday against Mississippi State.

Pfeifer scored eight of Arkansas' first 10 points and had 14 at halftime, when Kentucky led just 33-31.

The Lady'Backs (15-12, 3-11 SEC) still trailed by two points, 64-62, after Pfeifer made a three-point play with 4 minutes, 42 seconds remaining.

But Potts and fellow senior Danyelle Payne made two free throws each for a 68-62 Kentucky lead, and Pfeifer caught an elbow to the jaw while trying to take a charge against 6-foot-6 UK freshman center Sarah Elliott (11 points).

Pfeifer had to leave the game and was examined by a Kentucky team doctor for a possible concussion afterwards.

"She has a sprain in the TMJ (jaw) area," said UA trainer Phill Vardiman. "She's going to be sore for a couple of days. But she should be fine for the tournament."

Pfeifer, asked if she expected to play Thursday night, looked quizzically at the questioner -- as if there was any doubt.

"We played decent today, but this was a very winnable game," Pfeifer said. "We're disappointed because we thought we should have won. But at least we know what it's going to take in the tournament."

Arkansas coach Susie Gardner commended Pfeifer, Danielle Allen (12 points, 7 rebounds) and guard Rochelle Vaughn (15 points, 7 rebounds off the bench), but said, "We didn't have five playing well at the same time. Some were not up to their usual games."

Gardner noted that Arkansas missed three shots on its last possession of the first half, then turned the ball over several times early in the second half.

"We could never silence the great Kentucky crowd," Gardner said.

Kentucky coach Mickie DeMoss grabbeed a microphone and thanked the UK fans, saying, "Thank you for hanging in there and showing the Big Blue spirit. There are no fans like Kentucky fans. Keep believing in us!"

The Wildcats shot 48.3 percent to Arkansas' 37.5 percent and outrebounded the Lady'Backs 43-36, making up for 20 turnovers compared to Arkansas' 14.

"One of our objectives was to not let Potts catch the ball," Gardner said. "We did a pretty good job of that, but she found other ways to score and had a great game."

DeMoss had similar concerns about Pfeifer, even with Elliott and 6-3 Jennifer Humphrey taking turns guarding her.

"We double-teamed Pfeifer some," DeMoss said. "She fought hard, but I think our size wore her down some and she missed some shots toward the end. We kept our defensive intensity for 40 minutes today."

DeMoss said both teams played hard.

"We didn't want Arkansas to play more inspired than we did on our home floor," she said.

Potts (10 of 17) added, "None of us seniors wanted to leave this coliseum with a loss."

Gardner praised Pfeifer's season-long effort against taller players.

"She's a player," Gardner said. "She's legit. She uses her smarts inside and finds ways to score against 6-6 players. She plays with a lot of heart. We've been having to do it this way since January."

Kristin Peoples (10 points, 2 assists, 5 turnovers) cut Kentucky's lead to 68-64 with a 12-foot jumper on the fast break with 1:54 left. But Potts buried a six-foot baseline jumper for 70-64, Kentucky.

Allen and Vaughn missed for Arkansas before Vaughn made a 3-point bank shot she did not call for 72-67.

Chante Bowman's free throw put UK up 73-67 with 29.8 ticks left. Arkansas' last bullet misfired when Peoples tried a two-point shot in the lane and missed.

"April Seggebruch missed a layup when it was 64-59," Gardner said.. "That could have really helped. But we could never get the lead."

Gardner had wanted to play the noon game on Thursday, but this way Pfeifer has eight additional hours for her jaw to heal.

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