Razorbacks Continue Losing Skid, Fall To Wildcats At Home

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Forward Kiara Williams goes up for a shot attempt during the second half of a Razorbacks 76-65 loss to the University of Kentucky Wildcats on Jan. 29. 

A week ago, she was dealing with an ankle injury. Last night, however, graduate guard Devin Cosper showed no signs of it as she drained a three from the corner to cap off a 24-point fourth quarter for a Razorback women’s basketball team that ultimately fell to the Kentucky Wildcats 76-65.

Cosper led all scorers with 17 points and grabbed five boards for the Hogs. This was the first double-digit scoring game for the graduate student after returning from her ankle injury that forced her to miss three games.

The Razorbacks ended the third quarter down by 23 points. Things looked bleak. The crowd had been, for the most part, silent since the second quarter. That changed in the final 10 minutes. Junior guard Keiryn Swenson got the ball rolling with a deep two from the right side of the basket. Twenty more Razorback points would follow, including three three pointers, to let the Wildcats know the Hogs were going to fight until the end.

Kentucky only scored 12 points in the final quarter on 25-percent shooting, but it was enough to get the win and improve to an 11-11 overall record and a 3-5 conference record.

“Our kids kept showing up (in this game), and obviously we finished better than we started, but it was a little too late tonight.” Razorback coach Mike Neighbors said.

The Hogs started off well and ended in the same manner, but the two middle quarters was where it all went wrong for Neighbors. The Hogs shot an inferior 25 percent from the field during this time and only made four threes out of 14 attempts.

The Wildcats switched to a zone defense late in the first quarter, which Neighbors said was the moment the Hogs’ struggle began.

“I thought that was the change of the game,” Neighbors said. “We started missing shots, and they got out in transition. That really hurt our confidence for about a six-minute stretch. It was hard to dig out with only 10 minutes left in the game.”

The Razorbacks also turned the ball over 18 times, which lead to their demise. The Hogs hadn’t acquired 18 turnovers in a game since their loss to Arizona State on Dec. 21, where they had 23.

“We turned it over a bunch. (Kentucky) had us well scouted,” Neighbors said.

Kentucky capitalized with 12 steals and scored 25 points off those turnovers.

Freshman center Dorie Harrison led the Wildcats with a career high 16 points and four other Kentucky players finished the game in double-digit scoring.

Sophomore guard Jailyn Mason finished with 13 points and shot 50 percent from three. Junior guard Malica Monk followed close by with 11 points and led Arkansas with six assists.

The Razorbacks are left with seven games in the season and need at least four wins to finish above .500 for the year.

“This group has been out since day one to try to prove everybody wrong. We just don’t want to finish last,” Neighbors said. “When you were picked last and finished last last year, it’s an okay goal to have.”

The Hogs are back on the road for their next game. Arkansas will head to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to face the Crimson Tide at 6 p.m. Sunday in Coleman Stadium.

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