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Women's Basketball

Razorbacks drop SEC opener on road at Kentucky

Hogs can’t overcome slow start against Wildcats, even with late run making it close in SEC opener at Rupp Arena.



LEXINGTON, Ky. — Arkansas (12-4, 0-1 SEC) could not overcome a slow start, as the Hogs fell to Kentucky (8-7, 1-0 SEC), in the SEC opener, 73-63, at Rupp Arena. The Razorbacks had 12 turnovers and shot 16% from the field in the first half, while UK went on a 16-4 run in the second quarter.

The Hogs used a 29-point third quarter to go into the fourth trailing by just one but could not complete the comeback in a game that saw seven lead changes and six ties. Samara Spencer led the game with a season-high 25 points.

Kentucky won the tip, but Maryam Dauda helped the Hogs get on the board first with Arkansas’ first two field goals, which were both layups off assists from Spencer and Makayla Daniels. After Kentucky came up with a jumper in response to the Razorbacks’ first score, Arkansas held the Wildcats in a scoring drought for nearly four minutes. At the media timeout taken at the 4:58 mark, Arkansas had the 6-2 edge.

Out of the break, Kentucky broke its drought with a layup. Arkansas then could not find a field goal for the remaining six minutes and some change of the quarter. After Kentucky was in a scoring drought of its own for over four minutes, Kentucky scored a layup to cut the deficit to two. At the end of the first quarter, Arkansas led, 8-6.

In the beginning of the second quarter, Kentucky tied the game off a layup, but Spencer responded with a layup of her own. UK then used a 6-0 run to take the lead for the first time of the game, up on the Hogs, 14-10, with 5:41 left in the first half.

The Wildcats extended its run to a 12-0 one, as the Hogs trailed 20-10 with less than four minutes left in the half, while Arkansas was in a scoring drought for nearly five minutes. Taliah Scott dragged the Hogs out of the long drought with a layup. Overall, in the second quarter, UK used a 16-4 run over seven minutes to hold a 26-14 edge over the Hogs at the half.

The second half started with a pair of turnovers from both sides. The Hogs started the half with a 4-0 run thanks to jumpers from Spencer and Scott. Kentucky then took a timeout, as the Hogs trailed, 26-18, with 7:28 left in the third. Saylor Poffenbarger helped the Razorbacks continue its run with a layup off a spin move to cut the deficit to six, but the Wildcats responded with a layup. Kentucky went back ahead by nine, but the Hogs kept clawing away, and a Scott rim runner cut the deficit to five until Kentucky responded with a jumper. At the media timeout taken at the 4:55 mark, Arkansas trailed, 32-25.

Spencer drove to the basket for a layup and knocked down one of two free throws and after Carly Keats drained Arkansas’ first triple of the game, Arkansas was behind, 34-31. Kentucky knocked down two free throws, but Scott responded with a triple. With 2:36 left in the third quarter, the Hogs trailed, 36-34.

Keats then helped the Hogs take its first lead of the second half off her second triple, but that was short-lived, as Kentucky scored three straight points. Spencer tied the game after knocking down two freebies. Spencer helped the Hogs go back ahead, 43-42, with two free throws, but Kentucky got a shot off before the buzzer to retake the lead, 43-42, going into the fourth.

Spencer scored the Hogs first eight points of the fourth quarter. Spencer helped the Hogs retake the lead with an and-1, but Kentucky came up with a jumper on the other end to tie the game at 46. Spencer then made one of two free throws to pull the Hogs back ahead, but that was Arkansas’ last lead of the game, as UK went on a 4-0 run to lead, 50-47, with 7:54 left in the game.

Kentucky went ahead by five, but Keats splashed in her third 3-pointer of the night to cut the Wildcat lead to two with 4:07 left. The Wildcats had a response with back-to-back layups, and with three minutes left in the game, Arkansas trailed, 61-55. UK added another layup to lead by eight, but Scott knocked down a jumper, as Arkansas trailed, 63-57, with 1:57 left in the game. Arkansas started to press, which forced a turnover that led to a Daniels layup. With 1:11 left in the game, the Hogs trailed, 63-59, after a second-chance layup by Spencer. That was the closest the Hogs could get, as UK went 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the final minute, and the Hogs dropped the SEC opener, 73-63.

Hogs Highlights

• Spencer paced the Hogs with a season-high 25 points with seven rebounds, three assists and two steals

• Scott put up 11 points and added three rebounds, two steals and one block. This marked her 15th double-digit scoring game of the season

• Poffenbarger logged her 12th 10+ rebound game of the season with 15 rebounds. Her 13 defensive boards moved her up to No. 8 on the career defensive rebound list with 394. She also added nine points, three blocks and three steals


• Keats provided a spark off the bench with her second double-digit point game of the season with 10 points off 3-of-5 shooting from the 3-point line

• Arkansas held UK to 0-for-10 from the 3-point line, which marks the second time this season the Hogs have held an opponent to no points from beyond the arc

Next Hogs’ Game

The Hogs will host Georgia for the home SEC opener on Sunday at Bud Walton Arena. The game will tipoff at 1 p.m. on the SEC Network.