The No. 20 ranked Arkansas women’s basketball team continued its impressive start to the season with a 91-60 victory over the Belmont Bruins on Wednesday.
Going into the game, the seventh-ranked Arkansas scoring offense was out-scoring its opponents by nearly 34 points per game. Outside of a 29-point loss to Western Kentucky, the Bruins have a fairly impressive resume with wins against UCF, Chattanooga and Northern Kentucky.
The Hogs started hot with a couple of three-pointers from freshman sharp-shooter Amber Ramirez and senior guard Alexis Tollefree. Arkansas started the game on 3-3 from three.
A timeout by Belmont coach Bart Brooks proved helpful, as the Bruins went on a small run to bring the score within four points out of the timeout.
The firepower of the Arkansas offense would be put on display as Mikayla Daniels drained a three to silence the Bruin run.
Chelsea Dungee scored from all angles as she stayed on the court the entire first quarter. Dungee scored 12 of the Razorbacks’ 26 points in the quarter.
The team wanted to focus on improving from last year when it comes to getting to an early lead, Dungee said.
Arkansas managed to allow only 11 points by Belmont in the first quarter. The Bruins were held to just 29.4% shooting from the field and 10% from three.
Early in the second quarter the Hogs’ shooting was displayed on the stat sheet. Their three-point percentage was 60% compared to 57.1% from the field just two minutes into the quarter.
Throughout the first half, Arkansas had plenty of success forcing turnovers by displaying full-court press defense at times. The Hogs took advantage of the Bruins’ 11 turnovers to cap off an outstanding first half with a score of 55-22.
Dungee, Tolefree and Daniels had all scored double digits by the end of the first half, and the second half started no different for Arkansas: fast paced and high-scoring.
The Bruins had a short stint of a 7-2 run to cut the lead to less than 30 for the first time since the second quarter.
After a hot start, the Razorbacks struggled to get the ball in the hoop throughout the third quarter. On the other end of the court, Belmont managed to score more than double its first-half points with 23.
Dungee was given her first break of the game with a little over a minute left in the third quarter, and she did not see the court for the rest of the night.
The Razorbacks seemed to push the game out of hand by extending their lead to 78-46 going into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter was rather uneventful. Neither team was able to get the ball through the hoop very often, and the Hogs recorded their lowest scoring quarter of the game.
With a comfortable lead, Arkansas head coach Mike Neighbors went deep into the bench in the fourth quarter, bringing in freshman Avery Hughes and junior Grace Spangler. The Hogs were able to crack 90 points on a floater from Ginger Reece.
Arkansas handily defeated the Bruins 91-60 off of great first-half defense and lights-out shooting. Dungee and Daniels both scored 21 points, while Tolefree managed 20 points of her own.
Neighbors said he thought this was “probably our most complete game of the five we have played.”
The Razorbacks shot an impressive 45.3% from the field and 41.9% from three on the game. Though they were outrebounded by five, the Hogs managed to force 20 turnovers compared to Belmont’s nine.
Dungee thinks preparation and being able to dial in at game time has led to their early success, she said.
“Watching film, learning the scout, everyone paying attention to the scout… just paying attention to the scout is really something that we wanted to focus on moving forward,” Dungee said.
The Arkansas women’s basketball team will travel to take on the California Golden Bears in the Haas Pavilion this Sunday, Nov. 24 at 4 p.m.
The next home game for the Hogs will be against Kansas State on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 2 p.m.