Arkansas women set for Friday night WNIT hoops clash with Texas Tech

By Dudley E. Dawson
on 2023-03-21 00:41 AM

Make it two Arkansas teams getting to at least a Sweet 16 in year-ending basketball tournaments.

The Razorbacks’ women did that Monday night when it routed Stephen F. Austin 60-37 Monday night in the second round of the WNIT.

Samara Spencer had a game-high 27 point to lead Arkansas, which opened WNIT action with a 69-47 win over Louisiana Tech last Thursday.

“… I mean, it does all start in warmups and even though we’re in the WNIT, it’s still postseason and we’re still playing for something,” Spencer said. “ Just being able to have that spunk and being able to put that into my teammates. It just made the day much better.”

Makayla Daniels added 11 points, Rylee Langerman 10 rebounds and Jersey Wolfenberger 9 points in the win.

The win advances Arkansas (23-12) into a Friday night clash at 7 p.m. with visiting former Southwest Conference foe Texas Tech (20-14). 

“It happened pretty fast,” Neighbors said. “…We all know our athletic department is, they are very aggressive  and I know they were very aggressive in wanting to host. I mean we had 3,000 here on a Monday night.

“I think they have expectations…that after our men advance (in the NCAA Tournament) that there is going to be a euphoric feeling in Fayetteville and we might double that or whatever.”

Texas Tech (20-14) will come into game off a 61-49 win over visiting SMU on Monday night. 

Bailey Maupin led the Red Raiders with 21 point while former Little Rock Central star Bre’Amber Scott has 11 points and 7 rebounds.

“I have seen Texas Tech a lot and there are a lot of people on that roster that we are familiar with and have transferred in there and we follow the Big 12 very closely at our house.

“…They have Breamber Scott, an Arkansas kid who played at Texas and played at Mississippi State as well. They are going to come out of the Big 12 and that’s another rugged league.”

Arkansas ovewhelmed Stephen F. Austin (27-7),  who previous low scoring output was 59.

“I do think it there is no question that having played the schedule that we have played in the SEC that when we come out, our pace can be overwhelming,” Neighbors said. “We don’t sense it that until the game starts. 

“I think we imposed our will defensively yet again. To hold that team to 37 points, all you had to do is go back and look at since (Stephen F. Austin (head) Coach (Mark) Kellog has been there how offensive they are.

“To hold them to 22 percent (field goal shooting) is just a total team effort. You look down the stats and it is really defense that has been carrying guys and then the ofesne gets going.”

The game featured at least six Arkansas mens basketball team members in the crowd after clinching the Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament berth on Saturday.

“…It is awesome to see them here and I know our crowd loves to see that,” Neighbors said. “It;s genuine. They are not just coming. They’ve got other stuff to do. They are on spring break to and have a pretty big game coming up.

“For them to come out and support us means a lot to the girls and us as a staff as well.”

Neighbors is pleased with how his team is doing emotionally now after no being invited to the NCAA Tournament.

“There were a lot of cool things said in our huddle tonight,” Neighbors said. “We have been through a lot and it’s great to see them smile a little bit.”

Kellogg said his team was just overmatched with Arkansas’ defensive execution.

“They were just in sync,” Kellog said. “They were connected, I thought, defensively, challenging the majority of our shots. We just didn’t have a lot of space, and their length takes that away from you.”
Kellogg said Spencer had a special night.

“I was a little worried there for a while we might not even outscore her,” Kellogg said. “She was so hot there when she got going. She was special tonight.”

Photo by John D. James

(Last updated: 2023-03-21 00:41 AM)