Arkansas' Offense A No-Show On Sunday

FAYETTEVILLE — How futile was the Lady Razorbacks' offense in a 61-34 loss to Vanderbilt on Sunday?

• The 34 points was Arkansas' lowest in a Southeastern Conference game, under-performing a 64-36 loss at Auburn in 2003. • Arkansas' 14 first-half points matched the previous worst, also recorded against South Carolina in 1993 and LSU in 2006. • The Lady'Backs' .217 shooting percentage, on 10-of-46, lowered the previous nadir in SEC play — 25 percent efforts against Auburn in 2003 and Tennessee in 2004. • By making three layups late in the game, Arkansas avoided its worst overall field goal percentage in any game. The Lady'Backs shot 19.5 percent in an 82-28 loss to Louisiana Tech in 1978. • Arkansas took 9 minutes, 12 seconds to score its first points — a layup by Tanishia Smith on a nice feed from Sarah Pfeifer. That cut Vandy's lead to 16-2, but the Commodores went on up 24-2 with 7:14 left in the first half. • The Lady Razorbacks' 10 field goals were two fewer than their previous SEC low — 12 against Auburn in 2003 — but two more than their overall low of eight against Louisiana Tech in 1978. • Arkansas' 44.4 percent free throw percentage, on 12-of-27, was much better than its record worst of .143 (1-of-6) at Vanderbilt last season, but much worse than its .928 against LSU on 13-of-14 last Thursday. Take out Lauren Ervin's 6-of-7 on Sunday, and the other Lady'Backs shot .300 from the line. All this, against a Vanderbilt bunch that coach Melanie Balcomb admitted "has never been known for our defense." The game reminded Pfeifer of the Mississippi State-Arkansas game in 2003, her freshman year and Gary Blair's last season as UA coach, when the Bulldogs also went ahead 24-2 en route to a 72-59 win in Bud Walton Arena. "Tan White went off on us that night," Pfeifer recalled. "But today neither team was scoring much. Our defense was great. I'll bet we hit most of our defensive goals. Last time, Vanderbilt scored 98 on us." Only No. 1 Duke had held Vanderbilt to a lower shooting percentage (.333) than the Commodores' .362 on Sunday. Reactions Vary Vanderbilt outrebounded Arkansas 51-28, getting 17 offensive boards and limiting Ervin, a 6-foot-3 junior, to five rebounds. "We wanted to keep Ervin from getting her own putbacks," Balcomb said. "We looked at the (Arkansas) stats, and you're talking one kid is rebounding that well. We said, ‘If we dominate her, we dominate the boards.'" After the game, Arkansas coach Susie Gardner told the Lady'Backs that perhaps Vanderbilt just wasn't a good matchup for them. "You have to come up with something semi-positive after the game," Gardner said. Pfeifer said, "Every team has its bad days. This had nothing to do with effort and focus. I loved our crowd (a season-high 4,913). Maybe I was too jacked up — I missed all my shots long." Series Record Vanderbilt leads Arkansas 15-5 in the series rivalry. The Lady'Backs (18-5) travel on Thursday to Mississippi State, against which Arkansas is 13-10, including a damaging 81-73 loss to the Bulldogs in Fayetteville on Jan. 7. That game shapes up as a must if Arkansas is to be a viable contender for an NCAA Tournament bid.

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