NASHVILLE, Tenn. — No. 23 Arkansas made 14 3s Sunday inside Memorial Gymnasium and raced past Vanderbilt 100-66.
“We talked about it all week – defending the 3-point line and not giving them uncontested shots because when they get hot they get hot,” Vanderbilt head coach Stephanie White said. “I felt like our transition defense was poor. It’s very difficult to simulate how fast they are in transition and we didn’t quite recover from that.
“And we were very sluggish. We had four of our guards that were 4 of 29 from the floor and we’re not going to position ourselves to win ballgames when that happens.”
The Razorbacks (15-3, 3-2 SEC) turned a five-point lead in the second quarter into a 43-point lead in the second half. Arkansas outscored Vandy 31-9 in the third quarter.
Vanderbilt (12-6, 2-3 SEC) turned the ball over 17 times, shot 37.5 percent from the floor and finished 1-for-7 from the 3-point line.
“We’ve got to be able to get more and be consistent at all five spots on the floor and from everyone that steps on the floor, to be honest,” White said.
Freshman Koi Love scored 20 to go along with nine rebounds for the Dores and senior Mariella Faosula scored 14 to go along with her seven rebounds. Jordyn Cambridge had eight rebounds and six assists and Kiara Pearl had 10 points.
The Commodores return to action at 8 p.m. Thursday against No. 10 Mississippi State (16-2, 4-0 SEC).
Arkansas controlled the first 10 minutes and led for 8:32 of the opening period. Back-to-back buckets from A’tyanna Gaulden gave the Razorbacks a 15-8 lead and Erynn Barnum’s jumper in the lane made it 19-12 going into the second quarter.
Vandy’s deficit grew to 25-16 on Chelsea Dungee’s left-wing 3 and then 34-20 on Dungee’s jumper that forced a Vanderbilt timeout with 6:46 to go in the half. Amber Ramirez’s 3 from the right wing put the Razorbacks ahead an even 20 at 42-22.
Arkansas outscored Vanderbilt 31-20 in the second quarter and took a 50-32 lead into the locker room. The Razorbacks made half of their 3s and finished 19 of 37 from the floor in the first half.
The margin grew to 62-34 early in the third quarter after three consecutive Alexis Tolefree baskets – the latter a pull-up a 3 from the left wing on a fastbreak. Gaulden’s layup with 6:21 to play made it 66-36 and virtually any hopes of a comeback.
“That’s what great teams do,” White said about Arkansas’ third quarter. “There’s a reason why South Carolina is a national championship team and there’s a reason why Arkansas is a team that’s going to make a deep run in the tournament and a top-25 team. They make you pay.
(Arkansas) made us pay for every mistake that we made.”
Tolefree led three Razorbacks in double figures with 25.
• The Commodores have now lost 25 straight games against ranked opponents.
• Junior forward Autumn Newby missed Sunday’s game due to injury.
• Vanderbilt now leads the series with Arkansas 25-11 and is 14-2 against the Razorbacks at Memorial Gymnasium.
• Arkansas’ only other win at Vandy before Sunday came Jan. 21, 2001.
• The Commodores have won the rebounding battle in 15 of 18 games this season.