Arkansas’ Spencer named SEC Freshman of the Week

Samara Spencer became the first Arkansas player to win SEC Freshman of the Week honors twice since 2017.

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After scoring 19 points and 18 points in wins against Alabama and Mississippi State, Arkansas guard Samara Spencer was named SEC Freshman of the Week on Monday.

Spencer had previously won the award back in November during Arkansas’ nonconference schedule. Winning it this week makes her first Razorbacks player to win the award twice in a season since Jailyn Mason did it in 2017.

Spencer, who is from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, canned five 3-pointers in Arkansas’ win over Mississippi State on the weekend. Three of them came in the third quarter which saw the Hogs go on an 11-0 run and put the game away.

Arkansas (13-6, 3-3) is the only .500 team in the SEC and sits alone in eighth. As of a Monday update on ESPN.com, the Razorbacks are a projected No. 9 seed in the NCAA Tournament. 

The Hogs host fourth-place LSU on Thursday at Bud Walton Arena and travel to No. 4 Tennessee on Monday.

Ramirez flirts with triple-double, Razorbacks win

Triple-doubles are rare in college basketball, but one Arkansas player came awfully close Thursday.

All five Arkansas starters scored in double figures and the Razorbacks rolled Alabama on Thursday night, 99-71.

The win provided an impressive bounce back for coach Mike Neighbors’ team after falling to No.1 South Carolina in the week. It also kept Arkansas in the middle of the pack in the SEC right in the mix of an NCAA Tournament bid.

Amber Ramirez led the team with 19 points as she shot 7 of 9 from the floor and 5 of 6 from 3-point range. The efficiency shooting was a theme as the Razorbacks shot 59% as a team and made 15 of 29 from beyond the arc.

Ramirez flirted with a triple-double, too, grabbing nine rebounds and doling out seven assists. She was joined in double figures scoring by her fellow starters Jersey Wolfenbarger (12 points), Makayla Daniels and Samara Spencer (18 apiece) and Sasha Goforth (11).

Forward Erynn Barnum also played for the first time since December 5 as she returned from a knee injury. The team’s best rebounder, Barnum scored eight points and had four boards in just 10 minutes.

The Razorbacks return to Bud Walton Arena on Sunday to play Mississippi State.

Arkansas rally against No. 1 team in the nation falls just short

Arkansas gave No. 1 South Carolina all it could handle at Bud Walton Arena.

South Carolina is bigger, stronger, longer and generally better than almost every team it plays. The Gamecocks are the top-ranked team in the nation for a reason.

Arkansas gave the No. 1 in women’s college basketball a run for its money Sunday afternoon at Bud Walton Arena, but fell, 61-52.

South Carolina opened a lead as large as 20 points in the third quarter as Arkansas went scoreless for almost six minutes. Much of that was because of South Carolina’s size. Dawn Staley’s team outrebounded the Razorbacks 45-25, blocked eight Arkansas shots and held the home squad to just 28% from the floor.

A 13-2 Hogs run to start the fourth, however, pulled Arkansas within four points with just over four minutes left. But South Carolina scored six points in quick succession to follow.

Aliyah Boston had 19 points and 13 rebounds for South Carolina. Makayla Daniels led the Hogs with 17 points. Amber Ramirez added 14.

Arkansas snaps SEC skid, beats Missouri

Arkansas looked more like the NCAA Tournament it is supposed to be with a win over Missouri.

The Arkansas women’s basketball team put a stop to its 0-2 start in SEC play on Sunday with an 83-73 win over Missouri.

Rylee Langerman had a career high 17 points off the bench as the Razorbacks finished with five players in double figures scoring. Amber Ramirez led the team with 21, going 10 of 11 from the free-throw line.

The Tigers were a dangerous opponent entering the game, having won five straight, including a victory of over then No. 1 South Carolina a couple weeks ago. But Arkansas was never in serious trouble. The Hogs led by as many as 20 points in the second half.

It was a step in the right direction for a team that has visions of an NCAA Tournament berth. But a loss to Vanderbilt, a team picked 14th in the 14-team SEC, before the Missouri game had put a dent into the hopes.

“We took our punches. We learned some valuable, valuable lessons. I know I did as a coach,” Arkansas coach Mike Neighbors said. “I know they did individually. We got a few things fixed, not everything. We’ve still got a lot more work to do, but I’ve got to feel like that was one of our best efforts of the season.”

Arkansas has a week off before South Carolina visits Bud Walton Arena on Thursday.

Arkansas falls to 0-2 in SEC with loss at Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt was predicted last in the SEC before beating Arkansas on Thursday.

Arkansas basketball is struggling across the board right now.

Two days after the men’s team dropped to 0-2 in the SEC because of Vanderbilt, the women’s team did the same.

Arkansas shot just 28% in a 54-51 loss in Nashville. The defeat is the Razorbacks’ third straight and second straight to open conference play. They lost to Tennessee in the conference opener Sunday.

Makayla Daniels, who shot just 2 of 14 from the field but led the team with an average of 14 points a game entering, gave Arkansas an opportunity to tie the game in the final seconds with a 3-pointer from the top, but it bounced awry to end the game.

Arkansas guard Sasha Goforth scored 17 points and had 11 rebounds while guard Amber Ramirez had 15 points, all on 3-pointers.

The Razorbacks host Missouri on Sunday

Vanderbilt led by as many as 10 in the half at 29-19, but Elauna Eaton drained back to back three-pointers to get Arkansas within 29-25. Alexander scored 11 first-half points to help the Commodores get going and lead 29-25 at halftime.

Arkansas continues league play by hosting Missouri on Sunday. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. Missouri had to rally to defeat Auburn 72-63 in overtime on Thursday.

Arkansas drops physical game to No. 7 Tennessee

Tennessee shot 36 free throws to Arkansas’ 11 in the Volunteers’ win as five Hogs foul out.

Five Arkansas players fouled out while No. 7 Tennessee didn’t have any disqualifications in the Volunteers’ 70-63 win Sunday afternoon in Bud Walton Arena.

The Razorbacks led by nine points in the third quarter thanks in large part to Amber Ramirez’ season-high 26 points. It was her first game since December 12 as she returned from an undisclosed injury.

“Coming into the game we knew it was going to be physical with them,” Ramirez said. “It was just a tough game overall. I feel like we battled to the very end.”

Tennessee’s Tamari Key had 17 points, seven rebounds and five blocks, including three in the fourth quarter. She scored five straight points and seven of Tennessee’s 10 during a 10-3 Volunteers run in the fourth quarter that put them ahead for good.

Arkansas starters Makayla Daniels, Jersey Wolfenbarger and Sasha Goforth were among those who fouled out. Daniels joined Ramirez in double figures with 11 points.

Tennessee made 23 of 36 free throws to Arkansas’ 9-of-11.

Arkansas returns to SEC play on Thursday when it travels to Vanderbilt.

Arkansas’ game against Ole Miss postponed; no makeup yet announced

Arkansas will have to wait a few more days before beginning SEC play.

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Arkansas will have to wait a bit longer before SEC play begins.

The Razorbacks’ conference-opening game against Ole Miss in Oxford originally scheduled for December 30 has been postponed to a later date. COVID-19 issues, including a positive test, contact tracing and quarantining meant the game is on hiatus.

No make-up date has yet been announced.

Arkansas will now open league play at home Sunday against No. 7 Tennessee. The Vols will be coming off their league opener against Alabama on the Thursday before. Tennessee’s only loss this season was to then-No. 3 Stanford on December 18.

The Razorbacks last played on December 21 against Creighton. The Blue Jays won, 81-72.

Arkansas lost its only meeting against Tennessee last year in Knoxville, 88-73.

Arkansas drops final noncon before SEC play

Makayla Daniels scored a career-high 34 points, but Arkansas dropped its final noncon game before SEC play to Creighton.

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Morgan Maly scored 20 points off the bench and Creighton made 14 3-pointers to beat Arkansas on Tuesday afternoon, 81-72.

The Razorbacks’ loss dropped them to 10-3 on the season during nonconference play. Arkansas opens SEC play December 30 at Ole Miss.

Creighton jumped out early, leading 16-8 in the first quarter. A 29-20 Blue Jays second was enough to withstand Arkansas’ second-half charge.

Makayla Daniels scored a career-high 34 points for Arkansas on 11 of 17 shooting. Jersey Wolfenbarger and Sasha Goforth added another 11 apiece and Samara Spencer had 10.

Arkansas’ problem, though, was a lack of depth. Only one other player scored at all for the Hogs, while Creighton had five players in double figures and the Jays’ bench outscored Arkansas 45-6.

The Razorbacks and Ole Miss split their season series last year, one win apiece. The Rebels were picked sixth in the SEC in the preseason, while Arkansas was picked seventh. Tip from Oxford is at 6 p.m.

Former Arkansas guard headed to Ole Miss

Arkansas is losing a key reserve to an SEC rival.

Marquesha Davis played in seven games with one start for Arkansas this season, but about two weeks ago announced she would be entering the transfer portal. Over the weekend, she announced her destination.

Davis, who averaged 5.9 points per game this season for the Razorbacks, will play at Ole Miss next year. She will join the Rebels next semester but won’t be eligible until next season.

She was a key contributor off the bench both this season and last for coach Mike Neighbors but didn’t see her playing time increase this season over last. An influx of McDonald’s All-Americans and the transfer of Fayetteville native Sasha Goforth to Arkansas limited Davis’ further rise.

“Nothing can block what God has planned for me. #committed #HottyToddy #noceiling” Davis tweeted in her announcement.

Arkansas opens SEC play against the Rebels on December 30 in Oxford.

Daniels drops 35 points as Arkansas beats Cal

Makayla Daniels scored a career high 35 points and Arkansas bounced back to beat Cal on Sunday afternoon.

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Makayla Daniels scored a career-high 35 points and Arkansas bounced back from a loss last time out to beat California, 84-67, on Sunday.

The Razorbacks trailed after the first quarter but dominated Cal the rest of the way as Sasha Goforth chipped in another 19 points. Arkansas dominated largely from the free-throw line, shooting 29 of 32 from the stripe when Cal committed 27 personal fouls.

The win lifted Arkansas to 7-2 on the season and provided a return to form after the Hogs fell to Central Florida on Thursday. Cal was picked to finish last in the Pac 12 this season.

Daniels has scored in double figures in six of Arkansas’ nine games. Her season high before Sunday was 22 and her career high had been 27 points, scored her freshman season.

Arkansas next plays Thursday at home against Jackson State.