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Lady Vols lose 5th in a row to Arkansas 83-75

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he Lady Vols battled in the fourth quarter and managed to trim a 16-point deficit into just four points, but the comeback came up short in an 83-75 loss to Arkansas.

Tennessee (17-9, 7-6) lost its fifth game in a row, while Arkansas (21-5, 9-4) kept itself in the hunt for a double bye in the SEC tourney.

Rae Burrell led the Lady Vols with 21 points, while Rennia Davis notched 18 points.

Amber Ramirez led Arkansas with 29 points, while Alexis Tolefree tallied 22 points.

Tennessee led 12-9 at the 4:13 media timeout in the first quarter with 10 points in the paint and two at the free throw line. Tamari Key and Rennia Davis led the way with four points each at the rim. Arkansas’ Amber Ramirez tied it at 12-12 with a deep three after a defensive mistake by the Lady Vols and accounted for 10 of the Razorbacks first 12 points. The Razorbacks took an 18-16 lead at the end of the first quarter on a buzzer beater by Alexis Tolefree.

Arkansas extended the lead to 21-16 in the second quarter as turnovers became an issue for Tennessee. Lou Brown found Davis inside to trim the lead to 21-18, but the Razorbacks pushed it to 24-18. By halftime, the Lady Vols trailed, 33-25. Tennessee also didn’t help its cause with 16 turnovers in the first 20 minutes.

The miscues, along with some whistles, especially two offensive foul calls on Tennessee, seemed to rattle the Lady Vols.

“I didn’t think we were tough enough in the first half,” Tennessee Coach Kellie Harper, citing turnovers and missed layups. “Play through adversity. You’ve got to play through it. We were frustrated and got a little soft.”

Harper, whose engine never had to be started by her head coach – Pat Summitt famously said she would not coach effort – didn’t talk Xs and Os at halftime.

“Talking wasn’t what happened if you want to know the truth,” Harper said. “We had some fight left in us in the second half.”

The Lady Vols got to within four points, 40-36, in the third quarter, but the game unraveled on a series of possessions in 20 seconds, including a turnover on the in-bounds play after a Razorback bucket, to push the lead to 48-38. Tennessee trailed, 58-46, at the end of the third quarter.

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