The Arkansas women’s basketball team fell to No. 1 South Carolina 76-54 Friday in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament in Nashville, Tennessee. Arkansas’ leading scorer, freshman Samara Spencer, made only 10 points and eight rebounds and was the only Razorback to score double digits.
South Carolina controlled the game with solid defense and rebounding. Arkansas only shot 31% from the field and 16% from 3-point range, and the Gamecocks outrebounded the Razorbacks 54-37.
Arkansas could not contain South Carolina junior forward Aliyah Boston. She finished with 17 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, five steals and two blocks. She extended her existing SEC record with her 22nd consecutive double-double.
The game started slow, with neither team scoring in the first 2 ½ minutes. Arkansas had only made four points by the first media break.
The Razorbacks’ slow start allowed South Carolina to jump out to an early double-digit lead. Senior guard Amber Ramirez did not score until the last 30 seconds of the quarter, just before the Gamecocks ended the period with a 24-12 lead. Ramirez finished the game with eight points, three assists, three rebounds, one block and a steal.
South Carolina started the second quarter with strong momentum and took a 15-point lead early in the period. A 3-pointer from sophomore guard Rylee Langerman, her second in as many attempts, kept Arkansas in the game.
The Razorbacks cut the lead to single digits a couple times late in the quarter but went into halftime down 40-29. The Hogs struggled to shoot in the first half, going just 3-17 from beyond the arc and 11-34 overall.
Spencer led the Hogs with eight points and seven rebounds at the break. Boston nearly earned a first-half double-double, putting up 11 points and nine rebounds in two quarters.
A 3-pointer from sophomore guard Sasha Goforth cut the lead to seven in the third quarter, but it was all Gamecocks after that, as they stretched their lead to 56-41 at the end of the quarter.
Fouls were a problem for Arkansas. Langerman and freshman forward Jersey Wolfenbarger each picked up a fourth foul in the third quarter, while Goforth finished the quarter with three. The Gamecocks took 28 free throws in the game, making 23. Arkansas was 9-15 from the charity stripe.
South Carolina dominated the fourth quarter. Arkansas scored first with a 3-pointer from junior guard Makayla Daniels to cut the deficit to 12, but the Gamecocks went up 17 on a 3-pointer by freshman guard Bree Hall to put the game away. The Razorbacks continued to fight, but they did not have an answer for the Gamecocks.
Arkansas’ seeding in the NCAA Tournament will be announced March 13. The tournament will begin March 16.
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