The Arkansas women’s basketball team soundly defeated Southern Methodist University 79-47 Wednesday night in Dallas. The Razorbacks’ record now stands at 6-1 while SMU (0-4) is still searching for its first victory of the season.
The outcome of a matchup between two programs that are trending in opposite directions was fairly predictable. The Hogs had just upset No. 4 Baylor in their previous game, while SMU was reeling from a 12-point loss against an unranked Oklahoma State squad.
The Razorbacks entered Wednesday’s competition with an average of eight 3-pointers per game. Arkansas’ affinity for shooting from a distance has been crucial to the team’s success and that trend continued against the Mustangs.
The Hogs caught fire early and staked a 12-2 advantage in the first quarter.
Arkansas nearly matched its season average in the first quarter against SMU when it converted seven attempts from beyond the arc. An astounding 25 of the Razorbacks’ first 29 shot attempts were from behind the 3-point line.
The Razorbacks went into halftime with a commanding 39-17 lead and never looked back.
Redshirt senior guard Amber Ramirez led the Hogs in scoring for the second game in a row. She notched a season-high six threes which accounted for all 18 of her points. Senior guard Chelsea Dungee – the latest Southeastern Conference Player of the Week – added 12 points of her own and sophomore guard Makayla Daniels contributed 13 points along with a career-high seven assists.
Though they came into the game leading the nation in free throws attempts and makes, the Hogs did not have much success getting to the foul line against the Mustangs. Arkansas attempted a season-low of 13 free throws, making just seven.
The lack of freebies was more than made up for by the relentless 3-point shots. Arkansas ended the game shooting 16-39 from deep. The 16 threes were the most hit by the Razorbacks since they made 17 against Auburn in the SEC Tournament last season.
Arkansas head coach Mike Neighbors emphasized the importance of scheduling SMU as a non-conference opponent because of senior forward Taylah Thomas’ ties to the area. She enrolled at Arkansas after playing high school basketball in Arlington, Texas, located 35 minutes west of SMU’s campus.
After the scheduling contract was signed, Neighbors surprised Thomas in the training room and broke the news.
“She was excited and immediately started cashing in favors from all of her teammates to get extra complimentary tickets,” Neighbors said.
Thomas finished the game with four points and led the team with eight rebounds in her return to the Metroplex.
Following the victory, Arkansas Women’s Basketball Director of Operations Amber Shirey now has 600 wins on the job.
Arkansas returns home for an in-state showdown against the University of Central Arkansas in Bud Walton Arena on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m.