Neighbors claim 200th victory; Arkansas women dominate Northern Arizona in Paradise Jam

Neighbors claim 200th victory; Arkansas women dominate Northern Arizona in Paradise Jam
Neighbors claim 200th victory; Arkansas women dominate Northern Arizona in Paradise Jam

Samara Spencer (Photo courtesy of University of Arkansas)

ST. THOMAS, USVI — Arkansas Women’s Basketball (6-0) earned a hard-fought win over Northern Arizona (3-3) in the first of three Paradise Jam games. NAU led for 10 minutes in the first half, but after a 12-0 run by Arkansas before halftime, the Razorbacks never looked back. Samara Spencer was a big part of the Razorbacks finding a turnover, finishing with a career-high 27 points on 10 field goals. With the 82-73 win, head coach Mike Neighbors earned his 200th career win.

The Razorbacks couldn’t capitalize on the first two possessions, but a 3-pointer from Saylor Poffenbarger put Arkansas on the board. The game was tied at 7-7 with 6:01 to play first, but Spencer knocked down a 3-pointer to put the Razorbacks up by one, 10-9. NAU then went on a 7-2 run, as Arkansas trailed 16-12 at media timeout with 3:37 left in the first quarter. Arkansas started to warm up thanks to Makayla Daniels, whose 3-point play put the Razorbacks back in front, 17-16. The Razorbacks had a 20-18 advantage after the first 10 minutes.

NAU took the lead from a 3-pointer and put up another on the next possession to regain the lead by four. Poffenbarger continued to play at both ends of the court with a spinning motion to the basket, as the Razorbacks trailed 26-24 midway through the second quarter. A hat-trick from Spencer put the Razorbacks back in front, 31-29, with just over two minutes left in the game. The Razorbacks continued to cruise with a 3-point Poffenbarger and a Spencer layup just before the buzzer sounded. Arkansas trailed for most of the second quarter but closed the frame on a 12-0 run to lead 38-29 at halftime.

The Lumberjacks came out of the locker room on a 5-0 run. Erynn Barnum gave the Razorbacks their first basket at halftime after a layup. Arkansas then went on an 8-2 run. NAU didn’t back down and knocked down a 3-pointer to cut Razorback’s lead to seven. At media timeout, Arkansas had the 48-39 advantage. Arkansas took a 20-point lead after a layup from Maryam Dauda and a free throw. NAU made a 3-pointer to finish the third, as the Razorbacks were ahead, 61-46 after 30 minutes of play.

Spencer couldn’t be stopped in the paint, as a layup earned her 20 points for her second 20 plays of the season. Arkansas led 65-51 minutes into the fourth quarter. A 3-point NAU play helped the Lumberjacks to within eight, but a 3-point Spencer pushed the Razorbacks back by double digits. NAU drained another 3 points to cut Arkansas’ lead to seven with just under seven minutes left in the game. Barnum got a layup and Spencer followed with another layup to reach 27 points, as Arkansas led by 12 with 1:29 left in the game. After NAU cut the lead back to single digits again, Arkansas hung on the stretch, shooting 5 of 6 from the line in the final minute. Arkansas retired with an 82-73 victory.

Arkansas will take the Friday night shift at Paradise Jam, as the team is scheduled to face Clemson at 7 p.m. Coverage of this match will air on ESPN3.

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. Neighbors Win #200th Win Women Arkansas Dominate Arizona North in Paradise Jam

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