The Arkansas Razorback women’s basketball team (19-5, 7-4) went to work against the University of Kentucky (18-6, 7-4) at Bud Walton Arena on Sunday afternoon. Both teams entered the game in the top-25. The Hogs were also coming off a loss to the No. 1 team in the nation, South Carolina.
Arkansas coach Mike Neighbors made an appearance Tuesday night in front of Razorback fans at the men’s game and asked them to come out and support the team on Sunday against Kentucky. Hog nation showed up and created an environment that motivated the team.
“Our crowd was tremendous,” Neighbors said. “From the tip to whenever Kentucky would make a run, the crowd had an answer for us.”
The first and second quarter were a hard-fought battle for both teams. By the half, every Kentucky player had at least two points. Kentucky was 15-for-33 in field goals, and the Hogs were 15-for-31. The score was 38-35 with the Hogs in the lead. Arkansas guard Chelsea Dungee was the team’s leader with 10 points at the half.
“Seeing my shot go in has helped, especially with this four or five (game) stretch I’ve been struggling,” Dungee said. “It gave me some confidence and a boost. I’ve been working on my confidence in the gym.”
Dungee finished the game with 24 points going 8-for-12.
The team rebounded better than they had all season. The Razorbacks had more rebounds than the Wildcats for the entire game. The Hogs had a total of 37 rebounds to Kentucky’s 23.
“Out of all the good numbers on (the stat sheet), when I looked down and saw plus 14, I couldn’t believe it,” Neighbors said about the rebounds. “For us to do that against a quality team, that shows engagement.”
Kentucky’s stand-out player of the night was Chastity Patterson who had 21 points in the fourth quarter and 31 points by the end of the game. She also went 5-for-7 behind the three-point line.
“She’s a great kid. I’ve known her for a while,” Neighbors said. “Man, I don’t like to play against her, but you're proud to see her do what she’s doing.”
The Hogs ran away with the game in the second half. Arkansas guard Alexis Tolefree got into her usual rhythm. It seemed every time the team got Tolefree the ball it would go in. She went 5-for-10 behind the arc and 9-for-15 on field goals.
“I was just taking what they gave me. They left me open on a pull-up and they left me open on a three and that really got me going in the third quarter,” Tolefree said. “My teammates set me up really well.”
The Hogs won the game 103-85. The women’s Razorback basketball team's next matchup will be against Ole Miss on Sunday, Feb. 16 in Oxford, Mississippi.