3:00 PM ET, January 5, 2008
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas coach Tom Collen has said more than once that his team needed a signature victory to validate its perfect season through the first 15 games. On Saturday, he got what he was looking for.Ayana Brereton scored 16 points, and Arkansas (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 25 AP) beat Texas Tech 80-57 to improve to 15-0, the best start in team history. "This was a great win for us," Collen said. "I don't think we came in anticipating that we'd jump on them they way we did." Arkansas jumped out to a 13-2 lead in the first 10 minutes. The closest the Lady Raiders came the rest of the way was nine points, and they trailed by 20 for most of the second half. The 15 straight wins is also a school record for the Lady Razorbacks, who opens Southeastern Conference play at home Thursday against No. 11 LSU. "This has been a great effort and a great start," Collen said. "I'm sure they [LSU] won't be taking us lightly. I think we'll get their best punch." Texas Tech (12-2) never recovered from the early hole and shot just 20-of-60 from the floor in its lowest scoring output of the season. "Give Arkansas credit," Texas Tech coach Kristy Curry said. "They came out and threw a punch and we never responded. That's the best 10 minutes I've ever seen any team play. That's what everyone out in the hall told me and I'm pretty tired of hearing it." Charity Ford had 12 points for Arkansas. Lauren Ervin, Whitney Jones and Brittney Vaughn each added 11, and Sarah Pfeifer scored 10. Ervin added 11 rebounds and Jones had 10 for Arkansas. "This proves that we deserve to be ranked," Ervin said. "We wanted to show everybody today that we belong." Dominic Seals had nine points -- well below her season average of 14 points per game -- for Texas Tech, which opens Big 12 Conference play at home against Baylor on Thursday. Arkansas took its biggest lead of the first half, 32-13, on Ford's 3-pointer with 9:19 left. But Tech switched from a man defense to zone, and over the next four-plus minutes, forced six Arkansas turnovers and sliced the deficit to 32-20 on a 3-pointer by Ashlee Roberson. Following a time out, Arkansas got a jump shot from Pfeifer that appeared to calm the Lady Razorbacks and Arkansas recovered to take a 38-26 lead at halftime. The second half was all Arkansas. Back-to-back shots by Ervin and Vaughn pushed the lead to 42-26. An 11-2 run capped by Vaughn's steal and layup with just over 11 minutes left in the game extended the margin to 59-36.