Arkansas wrecks Texas Tech in the WNIT
FAYETTEVILLE - The Arkansas women's basketball team (24-12) gutted out a 71-66 victory over former Southwest Conference Texas Tech (20-15) in front of an energized home crowd in the Postseason WNIT Super 16. Arkansas came out with the fire, starting the game off with a 15-0 lead. Texas Tech settled in, owning the lead for eight minutes of the contest that saw six lead changes and four ties, but the Razorbacks owned a 19-14 advantage in the third quarter, which was the difference in the game. Makayla Daniels led the Razorbacks with 21 points and eight rebounds, while Chrissy Carr added 17 points. Arkansas will travel to Kansas to play the Jayhawks in the Great Eight on Sunday afternoon, marking Arkansas' fourth appearance in the fourth round of the WNIT, first since 2011.
Texas Tech won the tip, but Samara Spencer took a charge to force an early Lady Raider turnover. The Razorbacks capitalized with a second-chance 3-pointer courtesy of Saylor Poffenbarger. Carr then knocked down a 3-pointer and Erynn Barnum came up with a steal to deliver a layup, as Arkansas was up early, 8-0, just 1:16 into the game, forcing Texas Tech to take an early timeout. Arkansas continued to get the job done on defense, capitalizing with another Poffenbarger triple. Texas Tech scored its first basket after nearly six minutes with a jumper, but Spencer answered with another jumper of her own. With three minutes to go in the quarter, Arkansas led 17-4. Texas Tech began to pick it up and went on a 5-0 run, while Arkansas was in a scoring drought for nearly three minutes. The Lady Raiders then knocked down a triple, and after one quarter, the Razorbacks held an 18-12 advantage. After Arkansas' 15-0 start, the Lady Raiders outscoring the Razorbacks 12-3 in the second half of the quarter.
Texas Tech capitalized on a slow start for the Razorbacks in the second quarter, as the Lady Raiders started the frame on a 4-0 run. It took nearly 6.5 minutes, but Carr knocked down a triple to take the Razorbacks out of their drought. Texas Tech responded with a layup and got fouled in the process but could not convert the 3-point play. At the media timeout, Arkansas had the slight edge, 21-18, but out of the break, Texas Tech drained a triple to tie the game at 21 with less than four minutes remaining in the half. The Lady Raiders then took their first lead of the game on their next possession with another 3-pointer, while Arkansas was held scoreless for four minutes. With the Lady Raiders on a 10-0 run, Arkansas took a timeout, as Texas Tech led 26-21 with 2:17 left in the quarter. Out of the break, Makayla Daniels broke the Razorbacks' drought with a much-needed triple and Carr tied the game at 26 with a layup. Daniels made her own miss with a layup to help the Razorbacks go up by two, but Texas Tech tied the game at the buzzer with the game knotted up at 28 at the half.
The Lady Raiders got the first basket of the second half with a layup as the shot clock expired, following that up with a jumper for a 4-0 run. Daniels then knocked down her second 3-pointer of the game to cut it back to a one-point game. Spencer knocked down a 3-pointer to give the lead back to the Razorbacks, 36-35, with under six minutes to play in the quarter. The Lady Raiders did not make a field goal for six minutes but benefited from getting fouled and got majority of their third quarter points from the free throw line, taking the lead again off freebies. Jersey Wolfenbarger delivered a jumper and Daniels got one on their next possession to give the Razorbacks the lead back, 40-39, with 2:28 left in the quarter. Arkansas then started to make their way to the line, making two of four free throws, and after a Spencer miss, the Razorbacks came up with the offensive board, leading to a Maryam Dauda layup off a Wolfenbarger dish. Wolfenbarger then knocked down a 3-pointer, which capped off an 11-0 run, but Texas Tech nailed a 3-poitner at the buzzer to end their scoring drought and trail the Razorbacks, 47-42, going into the fourth quarter.
Texas Tech missed two free throws to begin the quarter but got the rebound and made a jumper as the shot clock expired. The Lady Raiders got another lucky look, as they banked in a shot at the buzzer, but Daniels answered with a 3-pointer of her own. Arkansas went on a 6-0 run, benefiting from Texas Tech's coach getting a technical foul and Wolfenbarger drawing a foul as well. With 6:33 left in the game, Arkansas held the 55-49 advantage. Texas Tech then went on a 5-0 run to make it a 56-54 game with 5:50 remaining in the contest. With no Arkansas field goals for over three minutes, Carr delivered back-to-back triples, but Texas Tech responded on both with baskets of their own. Daniels drew a foul and made two shots, as Arkansas led 66-59 with 2:05 left in the game. Arkansas came up with stops on defense, forcing Texas Tech to foul. The Razorbacks made 7-of-10 shots from the line down the stretch, delivering stops when they needed to in order to gut out the 71-66 win over the Lady Raiders.
- Daniels paced the Razorbacks with 21 points, while scoring 16 of her points in the second half. She knocked down three 3-pointers and went 8-of-10 from the free throw line, while pulling down eight boards and dishing out three assists. She played nearly 38 minutes.
- Now at No. 11 on the all-time scoring list, Daniels has 1,442 career points
- Carr followed with 17 points, delivering four 3-pointers, including pivotal ones down the stretch in the fourth quarter
- Spencer registered 10 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals in 37 minutes
- Wolfenbarger recorded eight points off 3-of-5 from the field
- Poffenbarger had a near double-double of eight points and nine boards. She moved up to No. 3 on the individual season rebounding list (249)
- Barnum logged five points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block. She is now No. 23 on the career rebounding list at Arkansas (571)
- The Razorbacks knocked down 11 3-pointers. On the season, Arkansas has 298 3-pointers, which is the second most in an individual season in program history
- Arkansas is now a perfect 12-0 over the Lady Raiders in Fayetteville
- Arkansas outscored Texas Tech 15-2 in fastbreak points and 16-8 in second-chance opportunities
- The Razorbacks advance to the fourth round of the Postseason WNIT for the fourth time in program history, first since 2011
- Arkansas' 24 wins ties the most for the program since 2019-20, as that team went 24-8
The Razorbacks will head to Lawrence to face Kansas on Sunday, March 26 at 2 p.m. inside Allen Fieldhouse.