KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Arkansas has shown it can compete with just about anyone in the Southeastern Conference. Now it needs to figure out how to turn some of these increasingly common close losses into victories.
The Razorbacks continued their struggles in league competition Thursday by failing 70-60 at No. 10 Tennessee for their fifth loss in their last six games. Arkansas failed to maintain an early eight-point lead and allowed Tennessee to shoot 62.2 percent from the floor.
"We just have to forget about the last game and move on to the next one," Arkansas forward Jhasmin Bowen said. "We can't dwell on this loss because we'll never be able to move forward to the next game."
Arkansas (15-6, 2-6) won its first 13 games of the season, but close losses have put the Razorbacks in the bottom half of the SEC standings, Arkansas' six conference losses had been decided by a total of 37 points.
The 3-point shooting that boosted Arkansas during the non-conference schedule has killed the Razorbacks in conference play. Arkansas has shot 27.7 percent (36 of 130) from 3-point range in conference games after making 43.8 percent (95 of 217) of its 3-point attempts in non-conference action. Arkansas was 5 of 18 from 3-point range Thursday.
"That's really been the missing link for us," Arkansas coach Tom Collen said. "We just have to get Kelsey Brooks, McKenzie Adams and those kids going. Those kids were shooting (about) 45 percent from the 3-point line coming into league play."
Jessica Jackson scored 16 points, Keira Peak had 12, Jhasmin Bowen 11 and Calli Berna 10 for Arkansas.
Cierra Burdick and Meighan Simmons each scored 16 points for Tennessee (17-4, 6-2), which shot at least 60 percent in a game for the first time since an 85-64 victory over UCLA on Dec. 17, 2011. Burdick's 16-point performance matched a career high, and the 6-foot-2 junior also had seven rebounds and four assists to continue putting an early-season slump behind her.
"I'm just trying to have fun," Burdick said. "In the beginning of the season, I feel like I put a lot of pressure on myself to do this and that. I'm just out here trying to enjoy my teammates, my coaches. I love this game. For a minute there, I kind of lost sight of what I was doing. I just got back to having fun."
Isabelle Harrison had 12 points and Andraya Carter added 10 points for Tennessee.
Arkansas capitalized on strong shooting to grab a 30-22 lead with 5:48 left in the first half. The Razorbacks made 13 of their first 19 shots by hitting open jumpers and driving to the basket for easy layups.
But as the Razorbacks finally started to slow down, Tennessee capitalized on its own shooting accuracy and pulled ahead on Jordan Reynolds' 3-pointer with 12 seconds left in the first half. Tennessee led 38-36 after a first half in which the Lady Vols shot 64 percent (16 of 25) and Arkansas shot 57 percent (16 of 28) in the first half.
Tennessee stayed in front the rest of the way while preventing the easy drives into the lane that Arkansas had enjoyed earlier in the game. After making 13 of its first 19 shots, Arkansas was 12 of 38 the rest of the way.
"We battled," Tennessee coach Holly Warlick said. "We hung tough. And in the second half, we decided to get a little bit serious about our defense."
Arkansas stayed in the game by outrebounding the taller Lady Vols 31-24, but the Razorbacks didn't have enough firepower to pull the upset. They also couldn't stop Simmons and Burdick down the stretch. Burdick made both her 3-point attempts Thursday after entering the night 1 of 9 from beyond the arc this season.
"It just seemed like every time we got a little bit close, they made a big shot on us," Collen said. "And I thought Burdick was a big part of that."