Thomas scores 18; Vanderbilt defense shuts down Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The Lady Razorbacks set all the wrong records Sunday in one of the worst offensive performances in school history in a 61-34 loss to Vanderbilt (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today, No. 15 AP).

The Lady Commodores, playing on the heels of a 10-point loss to No. 4 Tennessee, scored the game's first 16 points. Arkansas missed its first 14 shots and, after making a field goal to put the score at 16-2 Vanderbilt, went another six shots without a field goal to start the game 1-of-21 from the floor.

"We had some kids that were mad today and their goal was to take it out on Arkansas and rebound from a loss," Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb said. "We were mad. It had nothing to do with Arkansas. It was us."

Vanderbilt (18-4, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) was led by Carla Thomas' 18 points.

The Lady Commodores led 30-14 at halftime. Vanderbilt holds a 14-5 series edge over Arkansas.

Arkansas (17-5, 3-4) set a series of school-record lows in SEC play Sunday, including total points, 34; field-goal percentage in a game, 21.7 percent; and field goals made in a game, 10. The Lady Razorbacks also tied record lows for points in a half -- 14 in the first half -- and first-half field goals made, 4.

"At the 12-minute media time out, I turned to [assistant coach Mike Neighbors] and said, 'I've never experienced anything like this in my life,'" Arkansas coach Susie Gardner said.

"At some point, you feel like your shots are going to fall," she said. "It's kind of baffling."

Vanderbilt outrebounded Arkansas 51-28, led by Thomas 10 boards.

Liz Sherwood added eight points for the Lady Commodores, who shot 21 of 58 from the floor.

Arkansas opened the game missing open jump shots from 15 feet, layups and open 3-pointers. The Lady Razorbacks went 10-of-46 from the floor altogether, were 2-of-13 from 3-point range, and also hit just 12-of-27 from the free-throw line.

"It's like they put Saran Wrap over the rims today," Arkansas forward Sarah Pfeifer sais. "It was like we were sitting in the locker room and they were putting hexes on us."

Vanderbilt forced 19 turnovers.

"We played our best defensively today," Balcomb said.

Arkansas was led by Lauren Ervin and Donica Cosby, with 10 points each.