The Razorback women’s basketball team overcame its two-game losing streak with an 84-80 win against Florida on Thursday night at Bud Walton Arena.
Florida held a lead for the first 2:30, but Arkansas conquered the three-point deficit and asserted itself as the frontrunner for the remainder of gameplay.
Four players scored in the double digits, with senior guard Chelsea Dungee leading the Hogs to victory with 33 points. Senior guards Destiny Slocum and Amber Ramirez, and sophomore guard Makayla Daniels added 17, 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The Hogs had 27 opportunities to score from the free throw line and the team made 24 of the shots, good for 88.9%. Dungee made a perfect 17 out of 17 free throws.
Head coach Mike Neighbors praised Dungee’s performance and how she has become a better teammate throughout the years.
“It’s not easy being the player that we throw the ball to a bunch when we need a bucket and have to deliver time and time again,” Neighbors said in a postgame interview. “But she’s done that repeatedly.”
Neighbors said he thinks Dungee will leave a legacy at the UofA when she graduates, not only in the record books, but in helping to raise the overall team profile.
The Gators cut into the deficit during the second half, but Arkansas never let them take the lead. Near the end of the game, Arkansas double-teamed the players who had the ball for Florida, which made it harder for the Gators to make a comeback and claim the win.
“I think we played with a lot of confidence at times,” Neighbors said. “Even when they would go on their runs, there wasn’t any panic.”
The team has been working on improving its defensive skills during the past few games and practices, which helped the Razorbacks pull off the win, Dungee said.
“We just were sticking to the defensive plays, being in the gap, being in help and we tried to switch the majority of the game,” Dungee said in a postgame interview. “It felt good because I think we lost to them last year at Florida, so that win felt really good tonight.”
Ramirez was out during the Texas A&M game and Neighbors said he appreciated having her back because of the calming effect she has on the team.
“She was a steady, calming voice,” Neighbors said. “I’ve asked her to be our energy and I saw her picking people up and going to people who might have made a mistake and telling them that it was okay.”
Arkansas will travel to Columbia, South Carolina, to play against the No. 5 South Carolina Gamecocks on Monday, Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. The game will be available on ESPN2.