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Mike Neighbors, Razorbacks cruise to big win over Kent State

Samara Spencer, Erynn Barnum lead way to big win over Golden Flashes before Sunday trip to North Little Rock.

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas led for all but two minutes in Thursday’s game against Kent State cruising to an 80-59 victory.

That win marks Mike Neighbors’ 100th win at Arkansas to help the Razorbacks start the season 4-0 for the first time since 2019. Samara Spencer (22) and Erynn Barnum (20) both dropped 20-point games in the victory.

Kent State took an early lead, 6-3, three minutes into the game, but Spencer tied things up at six following a 3-pointer.

Samara Spencer (Andy Hodges / HitThatLine.com)

After another Kent layup, Arkansas scored six straight points to lead 11-8 at the media timeout. Arkansas extended its lead to seven, but that was short-lived, as Kent State went on a 7-2 run to cut it within two with 1:24 left in the first.

Rylee Langerman then hit a 3-pointer and Makayla Daniels followed with a layup, as Arkansas led 24-17 after the first quarter.

Arkansas started the second quarter on a 13-2 run, which put the Razorbacks ahead 37-19 four minutes into the frame.

Chrissy Carr helped get that run started with a jumper and her second 3-pointer of the game, while Spencer delivered layups on back-to-back possessions.

The Razorbacks outscored the Golden Flashes 22-12 in the second quarter, as Arkansas took a 46-29 advantage going into the half.

Chrissy Carr (Andy Hodges / HitThatLine.com)

Following a Spencer layup to kick off the second half, Kent scored five straight layups and cut the lead to 14 with 6:12 left in the third, which would be the closest the Golden Flashes would get the rest of the game.

Barnum made layups on back-to-back possessions and the Razorbacks shot 5-for-6 from the charity stripe in the remainder of the quarter to take a 64-46 edge going into the final quarter.

Arkansas kept on putting their foot on the gas, as Spencer and Daniels drained 3-pointers back-to-back and Barnum kept on going to work in the paint. After another Daniels triple,

Arkansas went ahead by 27, their largest lead of the night, 75-48. Arkansas outscored Kent 16-13 in the fourth quarter, and the Razorbacks won by a convincing 21 points, 80-59.

Game Highlights

• Spencer paced the Razorbacks with her fourth career 20-point game. She delivered a solid stat line of 22 points, seven defensive rebounds and a career-high seven assists.

• Barnum’s first 20-point game of her career came on Monday, but she delivered her second consecutive 20-point game tonight. She ended with 20 points, six rebounds and a block.

• Carr showed fans glimpses of all she is capable of with 12 points off 4-of-7 shooting and four rebounds.

• Saylor Poffenbarger led the team in efficiency for the third straight game at +29. She pulled down six rebounds and blocked three shots.

Makayla Daniels (Andy Hodges / HitThatLine.com)

• Daniels delivered nine rebounds, five assists and four steals. She surpassed Sarah Pfeifer on the all-time scoring list and is now at No. 28 with 1,060 career points.

• Eleven players saw action on Thursday night.

• Arkansas shot a season-best 45.5 percent from the field and drained nine 3-pointers.

• The Razorbacks registered 19 assists, which is also a season high.

• Neighbors achieved 100 wins on the Hill, becoming the fourth Arkansas coach to meet the century mark.

Next Game

Arkansas will wrap up its stint of three games in seven days on Sunday at Little Rock. Tipoff is set at 1 p.m. at the Jack Stephens Center. Coverage of the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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