HARTFORD, Conn. — Arkansas (2-1) suffered its first loss of the season, falling to perennial women’s basketball power No. 2 UConn (1-0), 95-80.
"Obviously, they are one of the best teams in the country," Mike Neighbors said later. "They showed that."
UConn got off to a 14-2 lead early, and though Arkansas would cut the lead back down on several occasions, the Hogs never led in the game.
Sophomore phenom Paige Bueckers paced the Huskies, going for a career-high 34 points in the game. Redshirt senior guard Amber Ramirez led the Hogs in points, going for 20. Sasha Goforth chipped in with 17 points, while Erynn Barnum added 16 of her own.
"They've got one of the best if not THE best players in the country and she showed that," Neighbors said. "They punched us in the mouth and it's so hard to recover from that."
Still, though, the Hogs didn't give up in what everybody expected to be somewhat of a payback game for a 90-87 Arkansas win last year in Fayetteville.
"I am proud of our fight," Neighbors said. "Everything that we did that could have helped us be closer or win the game is fixable. Some layups here, some layups there, some comfort against pressure and finishing up transition defensive-wise, we've got to do a better in a lot of those areas."
A big part of it was shooting and the Huskies were red-hot all night.
"You can't let a team shoot almost 57%," Neighbors said. "But overall a good trip for us. I learned a lot about our team and things we'll be able to back to work to fix on Wednesday."
The Huskies stormed out of the gates, scoring 17 of the game’s first 19 points. Connecticut shot 63 percent from the field in the first quarter, while Arkansas only shot 26 percent in the frame.
Despite that, Arkansas only trailed the No. 2 team in the nation after one by eight.
The Hogs showed resilience, chipping the lead in the second quarter all the way down to three, starting the period on a 7-2 run, capped by a Makayla Daniels layup.
• Ramirez tallied her first 20-point game of the young season, and the 16th such game of her career.
• Barnum’s 16 points were the most of her career, while Goforth’s 17 were the most of her Arkansas career.
• Barnum also pulled down eight boards, nearly double-doubling.
• Freshman guard Samara Spencer continued to impress, scoring eight points, dishing two assists and nabbing a steal.
Arkansas finally gets a break in its schedule, as the Hogs won’t play again until Friday
The Razorbacks will head to Jonesboro on Friday, where they will meet Arkansas State. That game is set to tip off at 7 p.m.
Information from Arkansas Communications is included in this story.
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