8:00 PM ET, December 28, 2006
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas coach Susie Gardner feels like she has finally, in her fourth season, been able to put her stamp on the women's basketball program.Although the Lady Razorbacks advanced to the NIT last season, it was not until this year that Gardner has felt the program was exclusively hers.A school-record 14-1 start certainly has helped.Arkansas (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today; No. 23 AP) won its seventh straight game, led by Donica Cosby's 23 points and Lauren Ervin's 17, to knock off Cincinnati 94-82 on Thursday."This year, it does feel right," Gardner said. "With the exception of Danielle [Allen] and Sarah [Pfeifer], every player we recruited....It does feel right and it does feel good."Cosby made a major contribution early in the game when Brittney Vaughn picked up two quick fouls less than two minutes into the game. Cosby came off the bench and ignited an Arkansas rally. She scored with a 3-pointer at the buzzer -- her fourth in four attempts from beyond the arc. By halftime, the Lady Razorbacks had a double digit lead at 42-28."Donica played great during that stretch," Gardner said. "Brit is really our only true point guard, but Donica understands she's going to have to play there."For the first 10 minutes of the second half, Arkansas did not attempt a 3-point shot and the Bearcats (9-3) were able to whittle away the lead. The Bearcats pulled within four points three separate times in the second half."We adjusted at halftime to make sure we got on their shooters before they got their hands on the ball," Cincinnati coach Laurie Pirtle said. "We guarded the 3-pointers well, but we let them penetrate and get to the free throw line more than I would have liked."Ervin, who totaled 16 rebounds and eight blocks, had a personal 6-0 run that helped Arkansas hold off the Bearcats rally. She took over the game with just over 8 minutes left. Her two layups and a pair of free throws pushed Arkansas' lead back to double-figures.Dominique Washington also scored 19 points for Arkansas, and Vaughn added 11.Treasure Humphries led Cincinnati with 25 points. Karen Twehues added 18, and Shelly Bellman, Carla Jacobs and Michelle Jones had 10 points each.