As the game turned: Throughout much of the first half, Arkansas controlled the pace and led by as many as eight points after a steal by Keira Peak, which the senior returned the other way for an open layup.
After maintaining a lead for more than 14 minutes of action, the Razorbacks saw their lead disappear when freshman backup point guard Jordan Reynolds knocked down a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left before the half to give the Lady Vols a 38-36 lead.
While second-year head coach Holly Warlick didn't complain about the halftime score, she was not pleased with her team's performance on the defensive end as they allowed the Razorbacks to shoot 57 percent from the field.
After intermission, UT came out more assertively on defense, denying many easy Razorback layups.
In the final 20 minutes, the Lady Vols forced 10 turnovers, came up with four steals and rejected four Arkansas shots.
The pressure from UT's zone defense was too much for Jessica Jackson – the SEC's third leading scorer – and her team to overcome. In the second half, Arkansas shot a mere 31 percent from the field.
"We only allowed Arkansas 24 points in the second half, so we got serious about the defensive end," Warlick said. "It boils down to who's going to make stops. We had two very solid offensive teams, and someone had to step up and make stops and that's what we did."
Hot Topic: After a rather slow start in SEC play, the No. 10 Lady Vols have now won four consecutive conference games as they near tournament time.
Junior forward Cierra Burdick was the talk around town after the game.
Her second 3-pointer at the 3:46 mark of the second half not only gave Tennessee a double-digit lead, but also gave her 16 points on the night that matched her career-high.
"The key to the game was Cierra Burdick," Arkansas head coach Tom Collen's said. "Every time we got close to them (in the second half), they hit a big shot and she was a big part of that."
Burdick played a season-high 39 minutes.
Spotlight: With junior point guard Ariel Massengale out for a second straight game after suffering a facial injury, redshirt freshman Andraya Carter showed her youthful poise in her second consecutive start.
As she has for a majority of the season, the 5-foot-9 energetic guard remained a pest on defense and hit some important shots for her team down the stretch.
With the Razorbacks only down three with 9:48 left to play, Carter highlighted an 11-3 run by UT, where she knocked down one of her two three's in the game and hit a heavily-contested layup.
The Flowery Branch, Ga., native finished the game with 10 points, two steals and three assists.
The Other Guys: Despite not being able to find much room for much of the night, Jessica Jackson tied Peak for the Razorbacks team-high in points with 16.
Outside The Box Score: The Lady Vols' victory Thursday starts a new streak at home over Arkansas. The Razorbacks upset UT on Feb. 23, 2012 in overtime 72-71, snapping the Lady Vols' 18-game win streak in the series.
Say Something: Burdick on Jasmine Jones' lower back injury scare in the second half: "Jaz is goofy. When she went down there, she said she strained a muscle in her back and she told me to rub it and I said, 'Rub what? What do you want me to rub?' I didn't know what I was doing. I'm not an athletic trainer, so that's what we were giggling about."
By The Numbers:
62.2: The percent the Lady Vols shot from the field in the game, a season best.
55.6: UT's percentage from 3-point range where they were 7-of-13.
2: The blocks from Burdick against the Razorbacks.