FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas (15-6, 3-3 SEC) avenged an SEC opening loss to Kentucky (9-11, 2-4 SEC) by defeating the Wildcats, 88-61, on Thursday. The Razorbacks were down to eight scholarship players but were able to pull out the win behind five players in double figures.
The Hogs forced 21 turnovers and tallied 24 points off those Wildcat mistakes. Makayla Daniels led the Hogs with 22 points, six rebounds, seven assists and four steals, while Karley Johnson delivered in her first career start with a career-high 14 points.
Maryam Dauda won the tip, and after a miss, she got the rebound for the putback to put the Hogs on the board first. That first score helped the Hogs get going with an early 8-0 lead.
After Daniels made back-to-back layups, Kentucky called a timeout, as Arkansas led, 8-0 with 6:13 left in the first quarter. Arkansas continued its run out of the break, as Dauda made a layup off a pass from Johnson. Daniels then knocked down back-to-back triples, as the Hogs led 18-0. Kentucky then got its first score of the game almost seven minutes into action.
That sparked a 5-2 run for the Wildcats, but Emrie Ellis responded with a triple for Arkansas, which initiated a 9-0 run for the Hogs. That run was capped off by Samara Spencer going coast to coast for a layup. At the end of the first quarter, Arkansas led, 29-10, as Daniels logged 14 of her points in the first 10 minutes of action.
Kentucky began the second quarter on a 7-0 run, as the Hogs came up empty on its first two possessions. Dauda then dug the Hogs out of that drought by draining a triple and Carly Keats knocked down one of her own on the Hogs’ next possession.
Dauda made a turnaround jumper and Spencer drove to the rack for a layup, as the Hogs went on a 10-0 run. Kentucky broke their nearly four-minute drought with a driving layup. At the media timeout taken at the 4:20 mark, the Razorbacks held a 39-19 edge. The Hogs went 0-for-4 in its stretch out of the media timeout in a two-minute scoring drought, but Johnson broke the drought with a layup and Keats knocked down a jumper. The Hogs went into the locker room ahead, 44-23.
The Wildcats opened the second half by knocking down two free throws, while the Hogs came up empty on its first four possessions. Keats came up with a jumper and Spencer knocked down a triple, but Kentucky had answers on both scores.
Kentucky went on a 5-0 run just before the media timeout, and with 4:39 left in the third quarter, Arkansas led, 52-36. Out of the break, Johnson and Keats knocked down triples on back-to-back possessions, as Kentucky called quick timeout. Johnson got in double digits with a nice cut to basket with a layup off an assist from Spencer to extend the Hogs’ lead to 24.
Kentucky then started to press, and the Hogs had a hard time getting the ball across the court, leading to a 6-0 run for the Wildcats, who cut the deficit to 18. The Hogs then were able to find a break, as Keats found an open Ellis for a layup. At the end of the third quarter, the Hogs led, 66-46.
The Hogs began the quarter on 3-0 run and Dauda found her way in double digits with a layup off an assist from Daniels. Johnson then knocked down a triple, and with the Hogs up 72-46, Kentucky called a timeout.
Arkansas extended its’ lead to 29 following a second-chance driving layup by Daniels, but the Wildcats responded with a 5-0 run. Daniels has a response with a triple and Dauda came up with a jumper. In the final minute of action, Cristina Sanchez Cerqueira and Jenna Lawrence came up with layups, as Arkansas outscored the Wildcats 22-15 in the fourth and defeated the Wildcats, 88-61.
Hogs Game Highlights
• Daniels stuffed the statsheet with a game-high 22 points, six rebounds, seven assists and four steals, while shutting down Kentucky’s second leading scorer to two points off 1-of-10 shooting from the field
• The graduate student Daniels is now ninth in career assists with 374 and tied a season-high in field goals made (7), field goal attempts (15), free throws made (5) and assists (7)
• Johnson followed with a career-high 14 points with six boards and a career-high 36 minutes. The sophomore tied with Daniels for a game-high +29 +/-
• Keats registered 14 points, two rebounds, a career-high three assists and two steals in nearly 39.5 minutes
Spencer recorded 13 points, seven boards and four assists
• Dauda registered 16 points, seven boards, two assists and two blocks. She shut down Kentucky’s big to just six points
Ellis logged five points and two blocks off the bench
• Lawrence logged two points, five rebounds and one block and Sánchez Cerqueira had two points and one board
• Arkansas outscored Kentucky with points off turnovers (24 vs. 12) and points in the paint (40 vs. 34)
• The Hogs are now No. 7 all-time in 3-point attempts in a season with 637
• Arkansas logged 13 offensive rebounds and had 18 assists on 32 made field goals
The Hogs will hit the road to take on Missouri for the first of two times during the regular season on Sunday, Jan. 28. Arkansas and Missouri will tipoff at 2 p.m. at Mizzou Arena on SECN+.