Women’s Basketball season comes to an end with SEC Tournament loss to Arkansas

Photo by Brent Szklaruk

12th-seed Vanderbilt lost in the first round of the SEC women’s basketball tournament 88-76 to 13th-seed Arkansas at Bridgestone Arena. The game was a rematch of Sunday’s senior day game, which was a 78-73 Vanderbilt win.

Arkansas entered the game having lost its last six games.

Vanderbilt got out to a hot start and led 20-13 after the first quarter.

The team moved the ball around well and created open shots. Cierra Walker made two three-pointers and Chelsie Hall, who was named to the SEC All-Freshman team, added another three pointer.

The Razorbacks then went on a 20-8 run in the first 10 minutes of the second quarter. At the half, Vanderbilt trailed Arkansas 37-32. The Commodores committed 11 turnovers in the first half.

Arkansas’ Kiara Williams scored 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting in the first two quarters. No other player scored double digits up to that point. Walker led Vanderbilt with nine points, all on three-pointers, in the first half. Kayla Overbeck added seven rebounds.

Vanderbilt roared back in the third quarter and tied the game at 46 halfway through the third quarter. However, fouls caused lots of trouble for Vanderbilt. Kayla Overbeck, Autumn Newby, and Christa Reed all had three fouls by the four-minute mark in the third.

Arkansas went 4-for-10 from three-point range in the third and had many wide open looks. Reed made a shot at the buzzer to close the gap to 66-57 going into the fourth quarter.

Arkansas drained three three-pointers in a row to take a 78-64 lead with five minutes left in the game. The Razorbacks had five players who scored double digits, led by Williams, who scored a career-high 25 points on 85% shooting.

Overbeck and Reed led the Commodores with 16 points each. Overbeck snagged 14 rebounds and Reed grabbed nine.

Rachel Bell scored 12 points in her final game in black and gold. Vanderbilt committed 20 turnovers, and Arkansas scored 23 points off those giveaways. 

Arkansas advances to face Texas A&M in the second round, while Vanderbilt’s 7-24 season comes to an end.