UK wins 71-57 as Arkansas falters down the stretch


Freshman A’dia Mathies driving to the goal in the first half of UK’s game against Ole Miss last Thursday. Photo by William Baldon

On Super Bowl Sunday, UK continued its own Southeastern Conference championship aspirations with a 71-57 win over struggling Arkansas on Sunday afternoon.

The No.18 Cats (20-3, 8-2 Southeastern Conference) swept the season series with Arkansas (9-14, 1-9 SEC) after defeating the Razorbacks, this time on their home court at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark.

The win is the Cats’ seventh in a row, and their 20 wins this season mark the first time since 2006-07 that a UK team has reached that mark.

Coming off a career-high 21 points in her last game, freshman guard A’dia Mathies had a new career-high, scoring 27 points.

Junior forward Victoria Dunlap also had an impressive outing as she finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds.

UK jumped out to an early 8-0 lead in the first four minutes, but in the next three minutes the Razorbacks countered with an 8-0 run of their own. From that point, the first half was a seesaw battle that saw seven more ties and six more lead changes before the teams entered the break deadlocked at 33.

Trailing 42-41 with 12:39 remaining in the game, the Cats used a 12-2 run in a span of four minutes to take the lead for good.

Arkansas momentarily stopped the run with a C’eira Ricketts 3-pointer, but the Razorbacks would get no closer than seven as UK stretched its lead the rest of the way.

Sophomore guard Lyndsay Harris led Arkansas with 18 points and committed four turnovers, six fewer than she committed last time against UK.

Earlier this season, the Cats dominated the Razorbacks 69-52 in Lexington. Since the school’s first meeting, Arkansas has become firmly rooted at the base of the SEC standings, while UK sits in second place in the SEC as the league’s hottest team.

UK will seek to preserve its win streak when it hosts No.14 Georgia on Thursday. The Lady Bulldogs edged UK in overtime in the team’s first meeting of the season.