FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Nov. 22, 2009) - Senior TaRonda Wiles (Danville, Va.) poured in a game-high 26 points and Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) notched her 35th career double-double, but Arkansas' strong second half was too much for the Lady Bucs to handle, as the Razorbacks downed ETSU 95-78 on Sunday afternoon inside Bud Walton Arena.
ETSU (1-2) suffered its second straight loss; while Arkansas improved to 2-1.
Wiles entered the game with 980 career points and only needed the first 20 minutes of action to become the 17th player in Lady Buccaneer history to reach the 1,000-point club. The Danville, Va. native went off for 20 in the first half and now stands at 1,006 points in her career - marking the third straight year a Lady Buccaneer player reached the prestigious club. Meanwhile, Evans - who is also another 1,000-point scorer - finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds.
The Lady Bucs opened up with a well-balanced scoring attack, as they received buckets from three different players, and ETSU led 8-2 after Wiles connected on a baseline floater at the 18:13 mark. Unfortunately, with ETSU up 11-9, everything went south, as Arkansas mounted an 18-4 run and captured a 27-15 lead - forcing coach DeShawne Blocker to call a timeout with 8:28 remaining before the break. During the spurt, the Lady Bucs only connected on one of their 11 shot attempts, committed six turnovers, and had to play without starting point guard Tara Davis (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) as she picked up two early fouls.
Following the 30-second breather, ETSU did an excellent job chipping away at its deficit, thanks to the impressive shooting of Wiles and the strong play of Davis. Trailing 30-18 with 7:44 on the clock, Wiles went off - scoring 16 of the next 22 Lady Buccaneer points, and ETSU went into the break with a 40-38 advantage.
Both teams netted 12 field goals each in the opening 20 minutes, but the Lady Bucs held the upper-hand in 3-point shooting and free throws. ETSU hit one extra trey and freebie in the opening stanza, which proved to be the difference maker in the first half score. The Lady Bucs shot 4-of-7 (57.1 percent) from beyond the arc and 12-for-16 (75.0 percent) from the charity stripe. Arkansas was 3-for-13 (23.1 percent) from long range and 11-of-13 (84.6 percent) at the free throw line. Wiles and Davis stole the show as they combined to shoot 9-for-16 (3-of-3 from beyond the arc). Wiles led all scorers with 20 and while Davis chipped in with 10.
Despite carrying all the momentum into halftime, the Lady Bucs couldn't bring any of it back in the second half.
Arkansas stormed out of the locker room on a 16-5 run and led 54-45, forcing ETSU to burn a timeout before the first media break of the half. The run was too much for the Lady Bucs to overcome, and Arkansas controlled the final 13 minutes of the contest. Eventually the Razorbacks saw its lead soar to 19, 82-63, after Dominique Robinson knocked in a three-pointer with seven minutes left on the clock. .
For the game, ETSU shot 30.4 percent (24-79) from the field and were held to only one three-pointer in the final 20 minutes - finishing 5-for-20. After making 12 first half field goals, the Razorbacks knocked down 19 in the second half to finish 31-of-62 (50-percent).
The Lady Bucs managed to force the Razorbacks into 26 turnovers, and converted those into 34 points.
The Razorbacks had four score in double figures, with Robinson pacing Arkansas with 17.
Things don't get any easier for the Lady Bucs, as they head to Hawaii to compete in the Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Classic on Nov. 28-29. ETSU takes on 14th-ranked Arizona State in its first game on Saturday, Nov. 28 inside the Stan Sheriff Center at 10 p.m. (Eastern).
For more information on Lady Buccaneer basketball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.