FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - A road trip against three Power 5 conference teams came to an end on Sunday as Arkansas topped UT Arlington 91-55 at Bud Walton Arena.
The Lady Mavericks fell for the fifth time in a row, four coming against competition from the Power 5 conferences, as they went to 5-5 for the season. The contest marked the final time UTA will play on the road in nonconference as it heads to College Park Center for its first home game since Dec. 1 when it hosts San Francisco on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. Arkansas improved to 8-3 on the season, winning its last three.
Rebekah VanDijk led the offense for the second time in three games. The senior finished with a team-high 14 points. Shelby Richards and Laurynn McGowen led a third-quarter attack to each reach double figures. The run brought the second-half deficit down to just eight points before Arkansas pulled away for the remainder. Richards finished with a career-high 12, while McGowen had 10.
Arkansas featured two that had 20 points or more, led by Raven Northcross-Baker, who had 22 points, including knocking down six 3-pointers.
HOW IT HAPPENED
First Quarter: VanDijk helped UTA to a hot start by scoring eight of the teams 12 points in the opener. UTA made four of its first five field-goal attempts to build up a quick lead, but an 8-2 run by the Razorbacks shifted the matchup early back in favor of the host.
Second Quarter: A four-minute scoring drought helped Arkansas push its lead into double figures with 3:59 to go in the half. It was VanDijk that helped calm the offense once again and she raced to double figures to cut into UA's lead. Arkansas took advantage of UTA's cold streak from the field and sparked an 8-0 run with back-to-back 3-pointers from the corner. Richards pulled UTA back within 13 at the break as she knocked down a 3-pointer at the buzzer, UTA's lone trey of the first half.<
Third Quarter: Arkansas missed on its first five shots of the second half as UTA brought the Razorback lead down to 10 points early in the quarter. A five-point run by UA pushed it back out to 15 as the teams went back-and-forth midway through the frame. Richards joined Laurynn McGowen to help trim things down to just eight points with two minutes left in the third. However, Arkansas would score the final six points to take a 17-point lead into the final 10 minutes.
Fourth Quarter: The Razorbacks struck early in the final frame, knocking down three consecutive 3-pointers to force UTA into another early timeout. Between the final two minutes of the third and the opening two of the fourth, Arkansas outscored UTA 20-5.
Arkansas outscored UTA 28-11 in the fourth quarter... UTA led in points in the paint with a 36-26 edge... UTA turned the ball over 22 times, averaging 21.4 turnovers in the last five losses. VanDijk fell just two rebounds short of her 40th career double-double.
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