The Arkansas women’s basketball team jumped out to a quick first quarter lead and never looked back on its way to a 65-58 victory over the SMU Mustangs in front of 3,060 fans Monday night inside Bud Walton Arena.
Redshirt junior forward Erynn Barnum and junior guard Makayla Daniels led the way for the Razorbacks, scoring 18 and 16 points respectively.
“I thought we fought,” Arkansas head coach Mike Neighbors said following the game. “That’ll be a game I think later in the year we look back on and are proud we have a win over them.”
Barnum and sophomore guard Sasha Goforth combatted the Mustangs’ strong start to help the Hogs hold onto a slim 7-6 advantage with just over seven minutes left in the first quarter.
From there, the Razorbacks went on a 10-2 run, building to a 17-8 advantage at the end of the period.
The Razorbacks held double-digit leads twice in the second quarter, but missed free throws — the Hogs shot just 4-12 in the half — and poor shooting from behind the arc put them at just a seven-point advantage going into the locker room at halftime.
Following the trend Arkansas set in its first five games, the Hog defense was stifling, holding SMU to 24% shooting in the first half.
The Razorbacks opened the second half hot and quickly pushed the lead to double digits at 39-27 with just under six minutes to play in the third quarter. From there, the Mustangs outscored the Hogs 14-7 the remainder of the quarter.
Heading into the final period, Arkansas hung on to a 46-41 advantage.
Redshirt senior guard Amber Ramirez saved her best for last, scoring nine points in the fourth quarter after entering the final 10 minutes with just two points under her belt.
“Whatever it took to get the win,” Ramirez said following the game. “I happened to make two big 3s in that moment, but whatever was gonna get the job done.”
SMU used a 6-0 run halfway through the final period to cut the Arkansas lead to five, but the Razorbacks were able to buckle down their defense and held on, defeating the Mustangs 65-58.
Arkansas will get the opportunity to continue its winning ways against Sam Houston State at 2 p.m. Saturday inside Bud Walton Arena. The game will stream live on the SEC Network+.