ARK-MSST WBB 1/23/22

Arkansas junior guard Makayla Daniels dribbles through Mississippi State defenders Sunday during the Hogs’ 74-54 win over Bulldogs.

The Arkansas women’s basketball team put on a shooting clinic Sunday in Bud Walton Arena when it defeated Mississippi State 74-54 while knocking down six 3-pointers on 60% shooting in the second half.

Sophomore guard Sasha Goforth got things going on both ends early. She began the game with a block on defense and knocked down one of two free throws on offense to put the Hogs on the board first.

The defensive tone set by Goforth continued throughout the first period as she recorded two blocks in the first five minutes of the game. That led to a Bulldog scoring drought of nearly four minutes and a 10-0 run for the Razorbacks.

“We wanted to give her the confidence that she could guard her one-on-one and she did, for the most part.” Arkansas head coach Mike Neighbors said after the game.

It was all Arkansas early on, but Mississippi State did not go down without a fight. The Bulldogs went on a run of their own to bring it within one point at the end of the first period.

The game slowed down in the second quarter as both teams combined for just 16 points through the first nine minutes. Three straight 3-pointers in the final minute of the half sent the two teams into the locker room tied at 28.

Mississippi State opened up the second half with an easy mid-range jumper by sophomore guard JerKaila Jordan. Both teams went back and forth after Jordan's shot until Arkansas freshman guard Samara Spencer opened the game up for the Hogs.

A 3-point jumper by Spencer turned out to be the spark that led to her making two more 3-pointers in just two minutes. That gave Arkansas a 41-32 lead going into a much-needed Mississippi State timeout.

“You don’t ever want to expect a freshman to come into the SEC and be responsible for as many times as the ball is in her hands. Neighbors said. It’s fair enough to say (Spencer) has exceeded expectations.”

Everything went Arkansas’ way in the third quarter. A halftime tie turned into a 60-45 lead going into the final quarter thanks to some incredible shooting from the team's best players. Spencer, Goforth, senior guard Amber Ramirez, and junior guard Makayla Daniels combined for 32 points on 11-14 shooting, including 4-6 from downtown.

The fourth quarter proved to be merely an extension of the third. The Razorbacks hit two early 3-pointers, and the Bulldogs were unable to respond. With two minutes left, Neighbors pulled the starters as the game was all but over.

Arkansas improved to 3-3 in conference play with Sunday’s win.

The Razorbacks will look to extend their winning streak to three when they take on No. 11 LSU at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Fayetteville. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.

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