No. 5 Tennessee 74, Arkansas 57

Tennessee’s Kelley Cain positioned herself on one post while

Alyssia Brewer took the other one. Arkansas could handle one at

times, rarely both.

Cain scored 14 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and blocked eight

shots, Brewer scored 20 and pulled in nine rebounds and No. 5

Tennessee beat Arkansas 74-57 on Thursday night.

“One of them shoots it on one block, the other one rebounds it

on the other block,” Razorbacks coach Tom Collen said. “They’re a

nightmare to defend.”

With eight games left in the regular season, Tennessee got its

20th win – a feat that took the Lady Vols (20-2, 8-1 Southeastern

Conference) until the final game of the season a year ago. It’s the

34th consecutive season they’ve gotten at least 20 wins under coach

Pat Summitt.

And even though the win kept Tennessee on top of the SEC and

gave the Lady Vols their 21st win over Arkansas in 22 tries,

Summitt still wasn’t completely pleased.

Sloppy screens and shots by the guards kept the Lady Vols from

getting off to a fast start against one of the SEC’s worst

teams.

The Razorbacks (9-13, 1-8) read the screens and had an easy time

predicting the Lady Vols’ passes, making it easy for them to snatch

the ball. C’eira Ricketts had five of Arkansas’s 11 steals which

helped lead to 10 fastbreak points.

“The guards were trying to do too much,” Summitt said. “I

said, ‘Get the ball inside. We’re going to play from the inside,

out.’ That really changed how we played.”

Brewer and Cain both hit layups as Tennessee scored seven

straight points to pull away from Arkansas in the first half. Glory

Johnson missed her first free throw attempt but sank the second to

give the Lady Vols an 18-10 lead with 9:12 left in the first

half.

Tennessee finished with 40 points in the paint.

“We always emphasize getting the ball inside because we have

two of the best posts in the country,” Tennessee’s Angie Bjorklund

said. “They work really well together. I thought they both really

battled inside, and I was proud of them. I hope they continue to

play like that.”

The Lady Vols led 31-23 at halftime but could have been much

more in control had they not missed six of 10 free throw attempts

before the break.

Tennessee entered the game averaging an uncharacteristically low

63.6 percent on free throws in SEC play and hit just 54.5 percent

against the Razorbacks.

The Lady Vols pulled away in the second half thanks to some help

from Bjorklund, who scored all of her 17 points after halftime,

including seven straight points. Shekinna Stricklen finished with

12 points.

They couldn’t completely shake the Razorbacks, who continued to

threaten with their outside shooting.

Charity Ford led the way with 18 points and Ricketts added 13.

Lyndsay Harris scored four of Arkansas’ nine 3s and finished with

12 points.

“We can’t beat teams that way,” Ford said. “We have to be

able to get it inside.”

Summitt put Kamiko Williams at the point guard position in her

first-ever start for the Lady Vols in hopes of curing some of her

team’s offensive woes. Williams was coming off a career-high 17

points in a sloppy win over South Carolina.

It didn’t work quite as Summitt had hoped. Williams was

responsible for two early turnovers, and Summitt pulled her at the

first media timeout, opting instead for what she called “point

guard by committee.”

“I thought (Williams would) be a lot better, but this is her

first start at that position so we’ve got time,” Summitt said.