Bush Takes Charge

FAYETTEVILLE -- Adrienne Bush was her usual joking self in the postgame media room following Arkansas' first-round game of the Women's National Invitation Tournament.

But during the contest, Bush was all business.

"She was ballin'," said Lady'Backs sophomore Sarah Pfeifer, sharing a few laughs with Bush in the interview room between responses. "She was playing defense great like she always does, but she was getting steals and getting lay-ups and hitting jump shots.

"I was like, 'What in the world. Keep it up.'"

Bush wasted no time getting Arkansas off on the right foot Friday. Usually known for her defense, the senior guard from Russellville amazed Pfeifer and the 1,615 fans in attendance in Bud Walton Arena by scoring the Lady Backs' first six points of the game.

And by night's end -- when Arkansas had pulled out a 61-48 win against visiting UNLV to advance to Monday's WNIT second round -- Bush had done plenty more to make sure her teammates and the hometown crowd were sent home happy.

With 12 points -- on 6 of 8 shooting from the floor -- four rebounds, and one steal, Bush had the numbers in the scoresheet to back up her stellar play.

But it was the statistics which didn't show up on paper that actually stood out the most.

Relentless on defense and often seen dashing to the Walton Arena floor after loose balls, Bush took charge against the Lady Rebels by taking charges.


In fact, the senior transfer who made her way to Arkansas by way of Southwest Missouri State set a career high Friday, taking four charges to set the tone for a Lady'Backs defense which would force 24 turnovers on the night.

"Adrienne Bush probably played the best all-around game of her career, in terms of taking charges, scoring and playing great defense" said Lady'Backs coach Susie Gardner.

With Bush, defense is nothing new. Seeing this quick as a cat Lady'Back pick off a pass and turn it into two points is nothing new.

But to have Bush set the tone with her offense is a little like adding icing on the cake.

In the first half alone, Bush poured in 10 points to lead all Arkansas scorers as the Lady'Backs built a 34-22 lead.

"People in practice have been harassing me all week about my shooting," Bush said. "But it's all good. I'm just glad we came out on top. We came out with a hot start and when we came out with the hot start, I think people took care of themselves after that."

A surprise lift with the ball in her hands, Bush was definitely more than just a defensive wizard against the Lady Rebels.

And while the jokes were flying afterwards, it was business for Bush when the ball was in play Friday.

"I do think they feed off of Bush and it was contagious," Gardner said. "...It was a little surprising (her offense), but she has worked on it and it was a great lift for us."

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