The Razorback women’s basketball team welcomed in-state opponent Arkansas-Pine Bluff to Bud Walton Arena Friday afternoon for a dominant 43-point victory. The Hogs controlled the middle quarters of the game and cruised to a 96-53 win.
Arkansas undertook a balanced attack. Five players had double-digit points, and nine players logged more than 14 minutes.
The game started slow and sloppy, with neither team scoring in the first minute and a half. Ball security was an issue for both squads, as they combined for 12 turnovers in the first quarter.
“I wouldn’t say they were putting us on our heels, but they were definitely coming at us harder than we expected,” sophomore guard Sasha Goforth said after the game.
Arkansas finally got the action going with back-to-back 3s from freshman guard Samara Spencer and senior guard Amber Ramirez. Goforth converted a layup-and-one to help lead the opening quarter, tied with Ramirez for five points each.
“I knew it was going to be a challenge with the turnaround and early tip-off, playing with a young team,” Arkansas head coach Mike Neighbors said after the game. “I think (UAPB’s) pressure bothered us. We tried to prepare them through film and show it to them.”
Arkansas began to heat up and started the second quarter with an 18-1 run putting the score at 36-14. That run was the beginning of a 31-9 second quarter for the Hogs that put them up 49-22 at halftime.
“We tend to play better in transition,” Neighbors said. “We got some transition opportunities, got us a little separation and then it really started to click. That was a good quarter for us, definitely spurred on by the defense.”
Junior forward Erynn Barnum led the way with 11 points on 4-6 shooting at the half, all of which she scored in the second quarter. Goforth, Spencer and freshman guard Elauna Eaton all had eight points, and Spencer led the team with three assists.
The second half started off slow, mirroring the beginning of the first. Neither team scored in the first two minutes and each team had three fouls by the time the first point of the quarter hit the board.
Eventually, Arkansas got rolling on an 18-3 run to raise its lead to 67-25. The Razorbacks outscored the Golden Lions 27-10 in the third quarter, and 58-19 total in the second and third quarters.
The Hogs led 76-32 after the third, and Spencer paced the Hogs with six points in the quarter, giving her a team-high 14 at that point in the game.
A swift fourth quarter put a merciful end to the 96-53 Razorback walloping of the Golden Lions. Still, UAPB outscored Arkansas 21-20 in the quarter after ending the game on an 8-1 run.
“I don’t ever like to lose the fourth quarter, no matter what,” Neighbors said. “Obviously, room for improvement. But I’d have to give us check marks in all of the boxes of what we needed to get done in the quarter.”
The Arkansas defense controlled the game, forcing 24 turnovers and turning those into 27 points. The Razorbacks also dominated the paint, outscoring UAPB 36-16 down low.
The Hogs had five scorers in double figures. Barnum and Eaton led the team with 15 points, while Spencer had 14 and Goforth and Ramirez each finished with 11. Eaton had a team-leading seven rebounds, and Spencer tied with junior guard Makayla Daniels to pace the team with four assists. Arkansas had zero second-half turnovers after giving the ball up 10 times before the break.
The Razorbacks will hit the road to play the No. 2 UConn Huskies at noon Sunday. It will not be broadcast nationally, but New York-based TV subscribers can stream the game via SNY.