Lady ‘Backs golden vs. Tulsa, rout Hur­ri­cane

The Saline Courier - - SPORTS - By Nate Allen Ra­zor­backs Re­port

FAYET­TEVILLE - They say you can’t com­pare scores and bank on re­sults.

This time you could. The na­tion­ally No. 21 Arkansas Ra­zor­backs women’s bas­ket­ball team that routed

Oral Robert 96-64 on Nov. 14 in Fayet­teville seven nights be­fore the host­ing Tulsa Golden Hur­ri­cane edged same city ri­val ORU 67-65, trounced Tulsa 91-41 Wed­nes­day night at Wal­ton Arena.

As Matilda Wil­lis, Tulsa Coach Matilda Moss­man coached some ex­cel­lent Arkansas teams go­ing 67-27 pi­lot­ing the Lady’backs from 1981-1984 and good Kansas State teams go­ing 80-66 from 1984-89.

Ob­vi­ously this TU team, drop­ping to 3-7, doesn’t match to Moss­man past squads. Es­pe­cially against Mike Neigh­bors’ Ra­zor­backs hold­ing Tulsa 17-point a game scorer Ken­drian El­liott to two points rolling to 9-1 over­all into Sun­day’s 2 p.m. game against North­west­ern (La.) State at Wal­ton.

“We’ve tried to make some­body else on their ros­ter their star of the game,” Neigh­bors said. “We don’t want the per­son usu­ally lead­ing their team in scor­ing be­ing in­ter­viewed

on ra­dio or their con­fer­ence’s player of the week.”

Arkansas took com­mand with a slug­gish of­fen­sive but good de­fen­sive first 14-2 first quar­ter, Neigh­bors said, then ac­cel­er­ated of­fen­sively and never looked back.

“I kind of think we thought it was a 7 o’clock tipoff,” Neigh­bors joked of the of­fense since the game tipped off at 6 p.m. “But we re­ally got it go­ing in the sec­ond half. De­fense car­ried us in the first quar­ter and the

of­fense took it from there.”

The Ra­zor­backs led 41-16 at half. They led eas­ily even with four sub­sti­tutes log­ging 10 min­utes each, play­ing nearly as much as star starters Chelsea Dungee, 14 min­utes, and Am­ber Ramirez, 16 min­utes and match­ing the 10 first-half min­utes of start­ing hot-shoot­ing se­nior guard and for­mer Conway Wam­pus Cat Alexis Tole­free.

For the game, Tole­free led all scor­ers with 20 points in 21 min­utes while hit­ting 6 of 10 3-point­ers.

“The ball found her and she earned it,” Neigh­bors said of Tole­free scor­ing

freely on a night when he em­ployed 11 rang­ing from 6:48 to 24:48.

Tole­free said she found the ball “be­cause my team­mates found me. All my team­mates found me.”

Fresh­man Erynn Bar­num of Lit­tle Rock Cen­tral ca­reer high dou­ble-dou­bled with 14 points and 12 re­bounds off the Arkansas bench while Ra­zor­backs re­serves A’tyanna Gaulden scored 14 points and Rokia Doumbia grabbed a dozen re­bounds al­low­ing de­fer­ring stars Dungee and Ramirez to do as much cheer­lead­ing as play­ing with the game well

in hand.

“We got ev­ery­body some valu­able, valu­able game time in the mid­dle of De­cem­ber,” Neigh­bors said.

Es­pe­cially fresh­man for­ward Bar­num and ju­nior guard Gaulden, it seemed.

“She (Bar­num) has been do­ing it to us in prac­tice for a year and a half,” Neigh­bors said. “She’s a gamer. You give her that many min­utes she’s ca­pa­ble of get­ting a dou­ble-dou­ble. She has such good hands and feet and about the time you think she’s go­ing to fall or travel or lose the ball she makes it and gets fouled.”

Tole­free also said Bar­num took her prac­tice to the game.

“We know she can do it in prac­tice,” Tole­free said. “She fi­nally did it in a game and you all saw it.”

Gaulden said of Bar­num: “It’s crazy to see how much she’s im­proved.”

Neigh­bors cited Gaulden im­prov­ing off her knee in­jury last sea­son and with her point guard skills.

“Her knee is bet­ter,” Neigh­bors said. “Her 14 points is great but the thing I told her I liked is she had four as­sists and no turnovers and that’s a ra­tio she hasn’t

had. That al­lows us to have a two-headed monster at the point with her and Makayla (Daniels, the fresh­man starter).”

Though only hit­ting 2 of 11 first-half treys while TU shot 0 for 8, Arkansas out­shot TU 17 of 38 to 8 of 32 from the first-half field, shot 5 of 6 from the first-half field to TU’S 0 for 2, and first-half out­re­bounded TU 29-16.

For the game Arkansas out­re­bounded TU 52-35 and off turnovers outscored TU 21-4 com­mit­ting eight turnovers to TU’S 19 and outscor­ing TU 33-0 on threes, (11 for 32 to 0 for 16).

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