After a Gator missed a wide-open three that would have cut the game to a two-point Arkansas lead late in the third quarter, Makayla Daniels scored 10 consecutive points for the 25th-ranked Razorbacks to close out a game that ended in a 79-57 Arkansas win.
The Razorbacks started the game off well. The Hogs shot 69% from the field on 11-16 shooting to jump out to a 26-13 lead over the visiting Gators. The team would do much of the same the rest of the game except the second quarter. The Hogs shot 20% on 3-15 shooting and made only one three-point attempt on seven tries in the second quarter.
Makayla Daniels went 8-10 from the field, including 3-4 from deep to go with her game-high 19 points. Junior Taylah Thomas chipped in 13 points and crashed the boards for seven rebounds.
Thomas led the team in rebounding as the only Razorback with seven rebounds or more. Juniors Amber Ramirez and A’Tyanna Gaulden each had 12 points in the game. Gaulden had a team high five assists, and it was her sixth game this season where she has had five or more assists in a game.
“I don’t think they went over their scouting report too well because me and Makayla are two of the smartest players in the SEC, so I was so confused as to why they backed out,” Gaulden said. “Every time Makayla or I drove in, we either got a wide open basket or someone else was open on the court.”
The Razorbacks had 14 turnovers while the Gators had 16 in the ballgame, though the Hogs were able to score 22 points off of the Gators’ turnovers. The Gators managed just six points on the Razorbacks’ turnovers, and the Hogs outscored the Gators in the paint 44-28 as well as in bench points, 18-9.
The Razorbacks managed to score 25 points on fast-break baskets, emphasizing Arkansas head coach Mike Neighbors’s up-tempo style of play. The Gators beat the Hogs in rebounding as well as second chance points, but it didn't help their cause. Florida had 12 points on second-chance basket attempts, but the Razorbacks were only able to get one basket.
The news of Kobe Bryant and eight other people’s death in a helicopter accident broke prior to tipoff. Neighbors said it was something that was difficult for the players to cope with during the game.
“It affected them,” Neighbors said. “I’m proud that they were able to compartmentalize that, and we’ll deal with it the next couple days.”
Arkansas will be back in action Thursday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m. in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to take on the Crimson Tide. The game will be broadcast on the SECN+.