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Makayla Daniels hits buzzer-beater at end to down Vandy

Makayla Daniels leads five Razorbacks in double figures in a win over Vandy that ended up being a nail-biter.

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Senior veteran Makayla Daniels delivered when Arkansas (17-3, 4-1 SEC) needed her.

Daniels banked a a shot at the buzzer to elevate the Razorbacks to an 84-81 victory Monday night at Bud Walton Arena.

With the Razorbacks up by three points with 10 seconds left and no timeouts for either team, Vanderbilt tied the game on a banked 3-pointer, their 13th triple of the night.

Daniels took the ball down to the other end and banked a half-court shot with one second on the clock to end the game.

The win matches last year’s regular season win count at 17, while marking the best start for the Hogs in SEC play since 2005-06. All five starters reached double digits in scoring for the second time in three games. 

Vanderbilt kept earning second-chance opportunities off attacking the glass, leading the Razorbacks 7-4 just four minutes into the game.

With the Commodores still ahead, Chrissy Carr knocked down a 3-pointer to tie the game at 9-9. Both teams were held into a scoring drought for over two minutes, but the Hogs broke its drought first with a Maryam Dauda layup for the first lead in the game. Vanderbilt hit a 3-pointer for the last score of the quarter, as the Razorbacks trailed, 12-11.

Saylor Poffenbarger (Andy Hodges / HitThatLine.com)

Saylor Poffenbarger tied the game in the opening minutes of the second quarter with a free throw, and on the next possession, Carr hit her second triple after reaching 500 rebounds in her career shortly before that.

Vanderbilt tied the game off a successful and-1, but Makayla Daniels answered on the other end with a triple. The Commodores responded again with another 3-pointer, showing that once Arkansas started to get in a groove offensively, Vanderbilt would answer.

At the media timeout, the Hogs had a slight 23-22 advantage. Arkansas closed out the quarter making 5-of-7 field goals, including an Erynn Barnum layup, but a Vanderbilt jumper just before the half cut the deficit and Arkansas led 27-26 at the half.

The lead changed twice until Vanderbilt tied the game at 31 with a 3-pointer. Arkansas pulled ahead once again, but Vanderbilt responded again with a triple.

At the media timeout, the game was tied at 37. Arkansas went three of four from the charity stripe to go up by three, but once again, Vanderbilt knocked down a 3-pointer to tie the game.

Samara Spencer (Andy Hodges / HitThatLine.com)

Samara Spencer went up to double digits with a layup to pull the Razorbacks back ahead. Another Barnum layup and two Spencer free throws elevated the Razorbacks ahead by six, but a Vanderbilt 3-pointer cut the lead to three, as the Hogs went into the fourth quarter with a 50-47 edge.

Vanderbilt opened the final quarter with a jumper, but Spencer responded with a deep 3-pointer. Spencer did it once again with another deep 3-pointer after the Commodores cut the lead to one once again.

After Spencer’s second triple, Vanderbilt called a timeout and Arkansas led 58-54 with 7:53 left in the game. Carr hit a huge 3-pointer and after an empty possession by Vanderbilt, Spencer came up with a layup, as the Razorbacks led 63-54 with seven minutes remaining in the game.

Vanderbilt scored three unanswered points to cut into the lead with the Hogs leading 63-57 with six minutes and some change to go. A Barnum free throw put the Razorbacks up by eight with 4:31 left in the game. Vanderbilt would not go away, continuously cutting the deficit by making 3-pointers

The Commodores went 7-for-7 from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter.

With the Razorbacks up by three, 78-75, with 20 seconds left in the game, the Commodores banked a 3-pointer to tie the game at 81 with 10 seconds left in the game.

That set up Daniels’ dramatic buzzer-beater.

Mike Neighbors (Andy Hodges / HitThatLine.com)

Game Highlights

• All five starters earned double digits in scoring for the second time in the last three games

• Spencer led the Razorbacks with 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor. She added five rebounds and three assists

• Barnum had a solid night with 18 points, nine rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks. She continues to perform on both ends of the floor

• Daniels, the hero of the night, finished with 16 points, six rebounds and four assists

• Poffenbarger logged 13 points and five rebounds

• Carr reached 500+ rebounds in her collegiate career, finishing with four boards on the night. She also put up 11 points, four rebounds and two blocks

• Arkansas went 25-for-35 from the free throw line

Chrissy Carr (Andy Hodges / HitThatLine.com)

Next Game

Arkansas is up to its biggest tests of the season, starting with a road game at No. 3-5 LSU on Thursday.

Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, with coverage of the game being broadcast on the SEC Network.

Information from Arkansas Communications is included in this story.

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