Lady Vols drop thriller to Arkansas 80-79, 5th straight loss
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (UTsports.com) -- Despite an 18-point second-half performance from sophomore point guard Evina Westbrook, the No. RV/17 Tennessee Lady Vols fell to Arkansas, 80-79, at Thompson-Boling Arena on Monday night. Westbrook's game-winning 3-point attempt came up short, as the Lady Vols fell in their first of two home "We Back Pat" games this week.
Westbrook led Tennessee with 24 points and five assists, while freshman guard Zaay Green (17 points and six rebounds) and senior forward Cheridene Green (15 points and 12 rebounds) had productive nights. Cheridene Green dominated the glass and recorded her third double-double of the year on 5-of-9 shooting. Nine Lady Vols scored on the night, with six Tennessee players notching four or more rebounds.
The Razorbacks had three players with at least 10 points, as senior guard Malica Monk led Arkansas with 23 points. Chelsea Dungee (19 points) and Alexis Tolefree (16 points) were the other Razorbacks with double-digit points. Arkansas logged 12 3-pointers and 20 points off turnovers in the win.
The Lady Vols kicked off the first quarter on an 11-4 run behind a pair of buckets from Zaay Green, while the Razorbacks shot 1-of-7 from the floor to start the game. Tolefree answered for Arkansas by hitting a trio of 3-pointers to give the Razorbacks a 17-13 lead with two minutes remaining in the first quarter. Tennessee shot 1-of-10 from the field to finish the quarter while holding Arkansas without a field goal for the final three minutes. Arkansas managed to take a 20-15 lead into the second quarter after each team shot 25 percent from the floor in the opening frame.
The Razorbacks found their groove early in the second quarter, recording a 7-0 run in just over a minute. Tennessee shot 30 percent from the field, while Arkansas hit 7-of-13 from the field to begin the second frame. A 3-pointer from Raven Northcross-Baker gave the Razorbacks their largest lead of the game (13) at the 2:28 mark of the quarter. Still, the Lady Vols charged back with a 6-0 run to finish the first half, cutting the Arkansas lead to 40-31 at the break. Eight Tennessee players recorded points through 20 minutes of play, with Zaay Green leading the Lady Vols at the intermission with 11 points and four rebounds.
Tennessee bounced back at the opening of the second half, as the Lady Vols cut the Razorbacks' lead to just three points after an and-one from Cheridene Green at the 6:32 mark. Arkansas, though, stayed hot from deep range by hitting three 3-pointers in under a minute, extending its lead back to double digits. Westbrook, however, powered the Lady Vols back into the game with 16 third-quarter points, and a Rae Burrell three cut the Tennessee deficit to 63-59 going into the final quarter.
Cheridene Green tied up the game for the Lady Vols with a jumper at the 8:01 mark of the fourth quarter, followed by a 3-pointer from Rennia Davis that gave Tennessee a 66-63 lead. Davis' bucket was the capper on a 10-point run that bridged the third and fourth stanzas.Tennessee held the Razorbacks to 1-of-7 shooting to start the fourth quarter, with Arkansas first getting on the board at the 7:18 mark. After trading buckets for several minutes, a jumper from Monk gave the Razorbacks an 80-79 lead with three seconds remaining in the game. Following a UT timeout, Westbrook's game-winning 3-point attempt off an inbound play fell short, giving Arkansas the victory.
Up Next: The Lady Vols will host No. 1/1 Notre Dame on Thursday at 7 p.m. in a second "We Back Pat" match-up. The game will be televised by ESPN, and fans are encouraged to wear "We Back Pat" shirts. Children 12 and under can participate in the We Back Pat Coloring Contest. Coloring sheets can be submitted to receive free admission. Download your coloring sheet here: https://utsports.com/documents/2019/1/18/Coloring_Pic.pdf.
Evina Good For 20: Sophomore Evina Westbrook scored 24 points against Arkansas to log her ninth 20+ effort of the season. She shot 10 of 17 from the floor (58.8%) to lead UT in scoring for the eighth time this year.
Seeing Green: Cheridene Green and Zaay Green combined for 32 of UT's 79 points against Arkansas. Cheridene logged her third double-double of the season and led Tennessee in rebounding with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Zaay, meanwhile, tied her career high of 17 points while adding six rebounds and three assists.
Big In The Third: The Lady Vols shot a scorching 68.8% to outscore the Razorbacks 28-23 in the third quarter. That's the second-highest shooting percentage UT has managed in any quarter this season, trailing only the 73.7% they logged in the third quarter against Murray State.
Dominating The Boards: Tennessee out-rebounded Arkansas, 47-39, and is averaging 47.3 rpg in SEC play while holding opponents to an average of 37 rpg. UT has now outworked 16 of 18 opponents on the glass this season.