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Samara Spencer Picks Up Freshman of Week Honors

Mike Neighbors gave staff orders Sunday that should happen and it did Monday

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas sports information staffer Mario Bravante had one thing Mike Neighbors wanted done Monday and he got it accomplished.

Freshman Samara Spencer was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the second time by the league office Tuesday morning.

"Mario's got his work cut out for him tomorrow making sure Sam's SEC Freshman of the Week," Neighbors said after the Razorbacks' 75-54 win over Mississippi State on Sunday afternoon.

He smiled when he said it. But Neighbors wasn't kidding.

Spencer earned it for the second time this season. She is the first Hog to win freshman weekly honors multiple times in a season since Jailyn Mason in 2017.

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Samara Spencer-MSU
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Samara Spencer-Sam Houson
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"You don't ever want to expect a freshman to come into the SEC and be responsible for as many times as the ball is in her hands," Neighbors said. "After she got here, she's met, not exceeded her standards."

Neighbors knew she was special when he recruited her out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

"She's got really high standards," he said. "When you meet her family, you know her background and her support system you knew she had high expectations."

Spencer has been in the starting lineup since November.

She had her best SEC games against Alabama and Mississippi State.

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Against the Crimson Tide, Spencer had 18 points (seven of 13 from the field) and four of eight on three-pointers. She also had five assists (one shy of her career best) and grabbed three rebounds.

For good measure, she also blocked a shot.

Samara Spencer-UAFS

Hogs' Samara Spencer added second Freshman of the Week honors Tuesday from SEC office.

On Sunday, she had 19 against the Bulldogs, hitting six of 12 from field with five three-pointers on eight attempts.

After being tied at halftime against Mississippi State, Spencer put up 10 points in a 32-point third quarter for the Hogs that opened the door to what became a blowout.

Spencer finished the week averaging 18.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game.

The Razorbacks have a big test this week, hosting LSU at Bud Walton Arena on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. It will be broadcast on the SEC Network.

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