Balanced Attack Leads Lady'Backs

FAYETTEVILLE -- With 12 minutes remaining in the second half and their team trailing, 57-26, the Texas-Pan American bench began a chant of 'Defense, Defense!' as Arkansas walked the ball up the Bud Walton Arena court. Somebody forgot to tell the Lady Broncs that instead of defense, they should have been worried more about their own offense.

Using an attacking half-court game, the Lady Razorbacks held Texas-Pan American to five first-half field goals and just 15 for the game as Arkansas built a 24-point lead by halftime en route to an easy, 74-44 win in front of a crowd of 1,903 on Sunday.

"I felt like we had a really good first half," said Arkansas coach Susie Gardner. "I felt like there was more energy out there.

"I'm still having to substitute a lot of guards in there and finding playing time for everybody is tough. And I'm going to have to make some hard decisions here pretty soon, but hopefully practice will continue to be competitive and we'll continue to get better."

The Lady'Backs (6-4) return to action Wednesday when they host New Orleans while Texas-Pan American (1-9) hosts Schreiner College on Tuesday.

Making her second consecutive start, Kristin Moore had another solid effort, scoring seven first-half points to help Arkansas jump out of the gates quickly. And Adrienne Bush was also big Sunday, scoring a season-high 10 points while grabbing a season-best six rebounds -- and doing so in just over a half -- against the overmatched Lady Broncs.

But the biggest story wasn't the defense, or the play of Moore and Bush.

Instead, the return of junior Danielle Allen, back just two months after giving birth to her son, Caden, drew the biggest applause from fans, coaches and teammates on this day.

"We're so excited to have D (Danielle) back," Bush said. "You've got to give your hats off to her. It's a credit to her to and her dedication that she wanted to come back and be with her teammates."

In 15 minutes, Allen scored just two points -- hitting 2 of 3 free throws -- and had one rebound. But more important than the stats was just having Allen back on the court.

"It was fun," Allen said. "I loved it. I just loved being around my teammates."

After holding the Lady Broncs to a mere 24 percent (5 of 21) shooting percentage in the first 20 minutes, Arkansas kept up the pressure for most of second half. With 3 minutes, 57 seconds remaining to play, the Lady'Backs gained their biggest lead of 43 points before allowing Texas-Pan American to close out the game on a meaningless 13-0 run.

"I thought we played much better, with the exception of the last three and half minutes," said Gardner. "We didn't close things out. But we can't dwell on that."

In a game where almost every player contributed -- with 10 of 11 Lady'Backs who played scoring -- Leslie Howard led the way with 12 points off the bench. Melissa Hobbs and Bush both added 10 points and Moore finished with nine points and a team-high eight rebounds.

"What stood out to me that did not even make the stat sheet half the time was Melissa Hobbs' play," said Gardner. "Just her diving on the floor, running into the media table and running to the basket. Just those type of plays, I thought Bush benefited from that and that type of play was contagious."

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