Chelsea Dungee scored a season-high 37 points to lead No. 19 Arkansas to a 90-87 victory over No. 3 UConn on Thursday night.
It was the second victory of the season for the Razorbacks (12-6) over a top five team when they beat then-No. 4 Baylor on December 6th.
Dungee scored 22 of its points in the second half, including 13 in the third quarter as Arkansas built a 13-point lead.
“There are artists and then there is performance,” Arkansas coach Mike Neighbors said of Dungee’s game, “but the kid, when the stage was big and a big shot needed to come, she delivered.”
UConn (10-1) responded and took a 79-77 advantage over Evina Westbrook’s 3-pointer with 5:28 to play.
Arkansas then scored the next 10 points to make it 87-79, the last three on a three-point game by Dungee, who had 15 points at halftime before scoring 10 in the third quarter.
UConn pulled in 90-87 on Christyn Williams’ setup with 34 seconds left, but neither team scored again. Williams finished with 16 points when she returned to her home country.
Beginner Paige Bueckers scored the season’s 27 points for the Huskies, including 15 in the fourth quarter. She missed the Huskies last game while recovering from a right ankle injury.
ON, too late
After Arkansas’ Amber Ramirez missed a layup with less than five seconds left, the Huskies did not get a time-out until three-tenths of a second was left. Westbrook tried to get a shot but time ran out.
“We had a strategy in hassle that if there was enough time left we would get a break-away,” said UConn coach Gino Auriemma, “but if we got a comeback and it was five seconds we wanted a time-out. . What should you do?”
ARKANSAS ENDS THE PICTURE
By the time he entered the game, Arkansas had lost three straight games to ranked opponents including a 75-73 loss to No. 22 Georgia on Monday.
The Razorbacks lost 74-73 at home to No. 8 Texas A&M and 104-82 on the road to No. 4 South Carolina.
Eight is enough
Arkansas only had eight players available for the game due to COVID-19 protocol with six players out. Dungee and Ramirez played 39 and 38 minutes, respectively.
“I do not know what their problem was,” Auriemma said when asked about the missing players. “If you ask me, the wrong guys were in the minutes.”
There was a sold out audience of 4400 for the game, which marked only the second time this season UConn has played in front of an audience.
“Our crowd was phenomenal,” said neighbors. “I felt they accounted for about 10 to 15 points.”
He said it
Arkansas was originally scheduled to host Vanderbilt on Thursday, but Commodores has closed its women’s basketball program for the rest of the season due to covid-19-related issues.
UConn’s game with Providence was also postponed, leaving the two teams with an open date. The universities were able to quickly arrange the game to fill the gap in the schedule.
“A week ago in South Carolina after a tough loss, we asked the team ‘How do you want to fill this game’,” said neighbors. “” Do you want to play UConn? “They said we should go. Many teams, many children would have said we should take time off or can we find a team that had not won 11 national championships, but they did not.”
UConn: Huskies visit No. 17 DePaul on Sunday.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks will host Auburn on Sunday.
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