The Arkansas Razorbacks (8-1) defeated the Kansas State Wildcats (4-4) Saturday afternoon, 81-72. Chelsea Dungee recorded a season-high 32 points for the Hogs.
The Razorbacks were playing in their first game since they defeated Wisconsin 68-64 in the Bahamas Hoopfest. The Wildcats defeated Incarnate Word 85-41 on Dec. 3 to end a three-game losing streak.
Freshman Amber Ramirez played to her strengths early as she nailed two three-pointers in the first three minutes of the game. Chelsea Dungee got on the scoreboard with a three-pointer of her own to give the Hogs an 11-4 lead going into the game’s first timeout.
Kansas State had no problem getting the ball inside early. The Wildcats started two players over six-foot-four, while the tallest starter for the Razorbacks was junior Taylah Thomas, who stands at six-foot-one.
After one quarter, the Hogs were ahead 16-14, but the Wildcats ended the quarter on a 6-0 run. Kansas State freshman forward Ayoki Lee dominated the Razorbacks inside as she recorded six points and six rebounds. All 14 of the Wildcats points in the first quarter came from inside the paint.
Ramirez and Dungee continued their hot starts to the game, scoring seven combined points in the first two minutes of the second quarter to extend the Razorback lead to nine. Dungee would end the half with 18 points.
Arkansas went into halftime leading Kansas State 37-33. The Hogs shot over 41% from three-point range and over 38% from the field in the first half. Though they outscored the Wildcats, Arkansas only managed 16 first-half rebounds compared to 24 by Kansas State.
The size advantage of the Wildcats gave the Hogs fits when trying to get the ball inside. Arkansas only scored six points in the paint in the first half, but that proved to be no problem for the Hogs as they nailed seven three-pointers in the first 20 minutes.
As usual, Dungee scored the first points of the second half for the Razorbacks. The Hogs started slow, though, as Kansas State narrowed the score to 39-37, shrinking the deficit to just two points.
The Wildcats took a 42-41 lead on a layup by senior forward Peyton Williams with 6:39 remaining in the third quarter. The lead would not last as freshman guard Makayla Daniels made a layup on the ensuing possession to give the Razorbacks a one-point lead.
The Razorbacks took control from that point forward and did not look back throughout the rest of the third quarter. Arkansas went into the fourth quarter with a 61-50 lead over the Wildcats.
After a slow start to the game, senior guard Alexis Tolefree lit up the second half. She had 18 points in the second half compared to three points in the first.
Dungee eclipsed 30 points for the first time this season on a jump shot with 6:16 remaining in the fourth quarter. After that, the Hogs handled the Wildcats fairly easily as they rode to a 81-72 victory.
The 23rd-ranked Razorbacks improves to 8-1 on the season, while the Wildcats fell to 4-4.
Arkansas was out-rebounded 45 to 28, but 17 turnovers by the Wildcats proved to be their fatal flaw in the end.
Arkansas will return to the court against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at 6 p.m. in Bud Walton Arena. The game will be aired on the SEC Network.