Ice Ice Baby
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A dramatic jumper in the paint by senior Malica Monk with four seconds on the clock lifted the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team to an 80-79 Southeastern Conference road win at Tennessee on Monday night.
Arkansas (14-5, 3-2) picked up just the second program win in Knoxville handing the Lady Vols (12-6, 1-5 SEC) their fifth consecutive loss. Three-point shooting by the Razorbacks countered Tennessee’s points in the paint. Arkansas hit 12 shots from distance in the win.
The Razorbacks opened the first half with a fast start behind 11 first-quarter points from junior Alexis Tolefree. Arkansas controlled the pace of the game and limited Tennessee’s top players in the scoring column taking a nine-point, 40-31, lead into halftime.
The Lady Vols found a spark in the second 20 minutes and erased a 12-point Razorback lead, tying the game at 63-all at the 8:01 mark of the final quarter.
A back-and-forth battle ensued with Tennessee tying the game for the third time in the quarter, 76-76, with one minute on the clock. UT made a free throw to eek ahead, 77-76, but Chelsea Dungee answered with a driving layup with 23 seconds to go giving Arkansas the 78-77 advantage.
The Lady Vols burned a timeout and got a break when Monk was whistled for a foul at the 11-second mark. Two made free throws gave Tennessee the 79-78 lead but Monk brought the ball up the court, made a move and pulled up for the game-winning jumper.
Monk finished with a team-high 23 points in 36 minutes. Dungee added 19 points and Tolefree finished with 16 points in the win.
•Arkansas Starters: Alexis Tolefree, Malica Monk, Kiara Williams, Jailyn Mason, Chelsea Dungee
•Arkansas is 4-31 all-time against Tennessee and has won two games in Knoxville
•Alexis Tolefree had 11 first quarter points. It is the second time this year she has scored in double figures in one quarter and the third time with double digits in the first half.
•Arkansas is 10-0 when leading or tied at the half. The Razorbacks were up 40-31 at Tennessee.
•The Razorbacks have had eight games with 10 or more 3-point field goals. The season-best is 13 set against both Nebraska and Vanderbilt as Arkansas finished with 12 against Tennessee.
•Arkansas’ opponents have committed double figure turnovers in every game this season. The Razorbacks have had 10 games with 10 or fewer miscues.
•Alexis Tolefree scored in double figures for the 11th time this season.
•Malica Monk scored in double figures for the 14th time with a season-best 23 including the game-winner on Monday.
•Chelsea Dungee has scored in double figures in 17 games including eight in a row.
•Arkansas’ 14 season wins betters last year’s 13 victories. The Razorbacks have tied their SEC win total from a year ago with three wins this season.
The Razorbacks had an eight-game break from competition before the Tennessee contest. They now play three games in seven days beginning with a home contest with Alabama on Thursday in Bud Walton Arena. The Razorbacks travel to Florida on Sunday and host Georgia Jan. 31.
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