FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas (2-0) survived another scare, defeating Murray State (0-1), 82-79, on Arkansas’ 12th Elementary Day. The Razorbacks were up by as many as 24 points early in the third quarter, but saw that lead slip away, as the Hogs were outscored 48-35 in the second half to cut the game to three points.
The Hogs were able to fend off MSU for the win. The Elementary Day was the largest in school history, featuring over 7,000 kids from local area schools, 51 total schools and 135 buses. The number of 11,026 goes down as the fourth best crowd in school history. Arkansas had balanced scoring with six players with 9+ points, led by freshman Taliah Scott’s 25.
Arkansas came up empty on its first five possessions, but Samara Spencer knocked down a triple on the sixth and Scott followed that up with an and-1. After MSU was held off the scoreboard for nearly three minutes, the Racers scored four unanswered points to tie the game at 8-8. Spencer responded with a layup, but MSU tied the game back up with a layup off the fastbreak. At the media timeout taken at 3:41, the game was knotted up at 10-10. Arkansas was held in a scoring drought for nearly three minutes, but Carly Keats drained a triple to cut the MSU lead to two. Sasha Goforth was fouled on a 3-pointer and made one of three shots, as Arkansas trailed the Racers, 17-16 after the first quarter.
Scott came up with a jumper and Goforth delivered a layup off a great Saylor Poffenbarger pass. Two press breaks led to Makayla Daniels layups, forcing MSU to take a timeout. Arkansas was ahead 24-20 just 1:48 into the second frame. The run continued, as Scott delivered two layups, including one coast-to-coast and Spencer drilled a 3-pointer on the 10-0 run. Murray State answered with a 3-pointer, but Arkansas scored six unanswered, including a triple by Daniels, as the Hogs led 36-23 at the halfway point of the quarter. MSU went on a 6-0 run to cut the Hog lead to seven until a Scott spin move for a layup dug the Hogs out of the drought. That layup started an 8-0 run by the Hogs, and after a Poffenbarger layup, the Racers took a timeout, as Arkansas led 42-29 with 1:10 left in the first half. The Hogs closed out the half on a 5-2 run, capped off by Keats’ second triple of the game. Arkansas went into the locker room with a 47-31 edge. Arkansas’ 31 points in the second quarter tied a school record for most points scored in a second quarter of a game.
Poffenbarger came out of the break with a layup, which initiated an 8-0 run, as the Hogs led 55-31 with 7:22 left in the third. MU went on an 8-0 run of their own, as Arkansas was quiet from the field for nearly three minutes, but a Maryam Dauda 3-pointer and Poffenbarger layup off a steal put the Hogs back up, 60-39, with 4:06 left in the third. Keats’ third 3-pointer of the game gave Arkansas its largest lead of the day with 23, but MSU answered with back-to-back baskets. MSU charged on a 9-0 run, as Arkansas could not find a field goal for nearly three minutes, but a take by Daniels off an assist from Cristina Sanchez Cerqueira broke the drought. Arkansas went into the fourth quarter with a 68-55 advantage.
MSU began the fourth quarter on an 8-4 run to cut Arkansas’ edge to nine. Arkansas took a timeout with 8:20 left in the game with the 72-63 edge. Scott made a driving layup to pull her point total to 23, but the Racers cut the lead back to single digits with a 3-pointer. Arkansas called a timeout up 74-66 with 6:29 left in the game. The Racers nailed their eighth 3-pointer of the game to cut the deficit to five, but Spencer and Scott responded with layups to go back up nine with five to play. The Racers then nailed another 3-pointer, as Arkansas was ahead 78-72 with 4:20 left in the game. Arkansas was held quiet from the field for the remaining five minutes of the game, and after MSU made their 11th 3-pointer of the day, the lead shrunk to three with 33 seconds left in the contest. Arkansas used up the clock on their last possession with a three-second differential on the shot clock and game clock, but Spencer’s 3-point attempt was just off the mark with less than four seconds on the clock. MSU was unable to call a timeout to set up a play to tie the game, and Arkansas prevailed in the win, 82-79.
• The attendance of 11,026 marked the fourth best in school history and best attendance at Bud Walton Arena for a women’s basketball game since 2003
• Scott has put the nation on notice, following up her 29-point debut vs. ULM with 25 points on Friday. She also logged three rebounds and had a +14 efficiency
• Daniels was reliable as always with 15 points, six rebounds and a +12 efficiency
• Poffenbarger tallied her first double-double of the season, fifth in her career, behind 10 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, as well as tying career-highs with three blocks and steals, a piece
• Spencer played almost the whole game with 38 minutes and logged 11 points with two 3-pointers, along with seven assists and five boards
• Goforth had nine points off 3-of-5 shooting with two rebounds and three blocks
• Dauda pulled down eight boards, which ties a career high and added three points and one block
• Jenna Lawrence played eight minutes in her Arkansas debut, logging one block, one steal and one rebound
• The team took three charges in the first half
• Arkansas outscored MSU in the paint, 44-28, and 20-14 off fast breaks
• Arkansas’ 31 points in the second quarter matched a school record for points in a second quarter
Arkansas is set to close out the three-game homestand by facing its first of four in-state opponents on the schedule with Little Rock on Tuesday, Nov. 14. The game will tipoff at 7 p.m. and will be streamed on SECN+.
Information from Arkansas Communications is included in this story.