Hogs manage to hang on somehow to down Auburn
Hogs avoid disastrous fifth loss in a row after Auburn blows free throws near end of game for 54-51 2 win.
AUBURN, Ala. — Arkansas coach Mike Neighbors probably would never admit it, but he stole a win at Auburn on Sunday afternoon.
The Razorbacks (18-7, 5-5 SEC) gutted out a 54-51 at Auburn (13-9, 3-7 SEC) to snap a four-game losing streak and improve to .500 in SEC play.
In a game where 54 total fouls were called, Arkansas tallied 23 of its 54 total points from the foul line, including clutch free throws by Makayla Daniels to seal the game. The Hogs never trailed in the contest and reached 18 wins on the season, which matches last season’s total.
Neighbors said later it was a disjointed game with all of the foul calls and replays, which was pretty accurate.
“It probably wasn’t easy to watch,” he said later. “I hope the SEC Network had extra commercials because they probably needed it.”
What this one came down to was the Tigers blowing a chance to win with seven seconds left when Saylor Poffenbarger committed a foul. Auburn then proceeded to whiff free throws and the Hogs were able to break open a two-point game for the win.
After managing to blow a game against Ole Miss last Sunday, this time the breaks went Arkansas’ way. Neighbors was relieved that finally happened.
The Hogs came up empty on their first four possessions by committing turnovers on each one. They got help from the other end, as Auburn came up with a pair of turnovers of their own.
Poffenbarger would then earn the first basket of the game, nearly three minutes into the contest, off a jumper. Erynn Barnum was then fed by Rylee Langerman for a layup, as the Razorbacks led 4-1 at the media timeout. Auburn was held off the scoreboard for two minutes and some change, but then scored its first field goal with 3:32 left in the first.
The Razorbacks could not score a field goal for over three minutes, but Poffenbarger knocked down a triple. The first quarter saw 17 total fouls, 10 of which were on Arkansas. The Hogs logged nine of their 16 points from the free throw line, leading Auburn 16-5, while holding the Tigers to 1-of-16 for 6 percent from the field after one quarter.
Auburn scored the first two baskets of the second quarter and a Poffenbarger jumper got the Razorbacks their first basket of the frame.
The Tigers took an early timeout, with 8:20 on the clock in the second quarter, as Arkansas led 18-9. Barnum got going under the basket with a tough layup, getting fouled in the process. She did not make the free throw, but Chrissy Carr got the rebound and kicked it out to Daniels who made 3-pointer.
Arkansas fell in a scoring drought for over three minutes, which allowed Auburn to go on a 6-0 run. Daniels made a tough layup in the paint, but after an empty Arkansas possession, Auburn responded with a jumper on the fastbreak.
The Hogs closed out the quarter on a 6-2 run, which was initiated by a Samara Spencer jumper. Jersey Wolfenbarger helped the Razorbacks get two more points from the free throw line with less than a second on the clock, and Arkansas went into the locker room with a 32-19 lead.
Arkansas was outscored 32-22 in the second half. Both sides were held off the scoreboard for the first 2:05 of the second half until Barnum made a layup. Auburn took an early timeout with Arkansas leading 34-19 with 7:47 left in the frame.
Arkansas was held from a basket from the field for over four minutes. Auburn went on a 5-0 run, highlighted by a 3-pointer to cut the lead, 34-25 with 4:48 remaining in the third. Carr broke the Razorbacks’ drought from the field with a layup, but Auburn responded on the other end with a jumper.
The Tigers made it a seven-point game with 2:22 left in the quarter, but Carr knocked down a 3-pointer to put the lead back to 10. Auburn came up with two freebies with four seconds left on the clock, as Arkansas had the 42-34 lead going into the final quarter.
Auburn opened the fourth quarter on a 7-1 run, and after a layup to cut the lead to two, Arkansas took a timeout, leading 43-41 with 7:06 left in the game.
Over five minutes went by on the clock, and Arkansas was searching for its first field goal of the quarter. Auburn tied the game off a free throw, 44-44, with 4:24 left. Barnum got the Razorbacks their first basket of the quarter with a layup and followed that up with two free throws.
The Razorbacks led by four with less than three minutes to play, but Auburn made it a two-point game with a layup. Carr drew the foul and made the first shot, but on the rebound off the miss, Auburn got to the line on the other end and made one of two shots.
The Tigers tied the game with a jumper, 51-51, with 47.9 seconds left in the game. Daniels was fouled with seven seconds left, and she made one of two shots to put the Razorbacks back ahead 52-51 with seven seconds in game.
Arkansas was called for an intentional foul, but Auburn missed both free throws, getting the ball back with seven seconds on the clock for a final opportunity.
The Tigers could not get the ball out of bounce, forcing a turnover and giving the Razorbacks the ball back. Daniels was fouled with 4.8 seconds on the clock, and she made both free throws to pull the Razorbacks up 54-51. Auburn got one final opportunity, but could not tie the game, as Arkansas pulled out the much-needed win.
• Barnum led the team with 14 points, nine rebounds and a steal
• Poffenbarger logged her fourth double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
• Daniels registered 11 points, four rebounds and three steals
• Emrie Ellis’ work off the bench can’t be unnoticed, as she tallied 10 minutes when Arkansas was in foul trouble. She finished with two big rebounds and a block
• Wolfenbarger recorded four points off the bench, while leading the team in efficiency with +8
• Spencer logged seven points, six rebounds and four assists
• Arkansas held Auburn to 1-of-14 from three-point
• The Razorbacks outrebounded Auburn, 43-40, while also coming up with 11 big offensive boards
The Razorbacks will stay on the road and travel to Nashville to face Vanderbilt on Thursday, Feb. 9 for an 8 p.m. tipoff at Memorial Gymnasium.
The game will mark the second game between the two squads this year.