UA women shock 4-time champions

By: Compiled by Democrat-Gazette staff from wire reports
Published: Saturday, March 9, 2019
Arkansas' Chelsea Dungee, right, Malica Monk, center, and Taylah Thomas join teammates in celebrating a 95-89 win over South Carolina in an NCAA college basketball game in the Southeastern Conference women's tournament Friday, March 8, 2019, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
Arkansas' Chelsea Dungee, right, Malica Monk, center, and Taylah Thomas join teammates in celebrating a 95-89 win over South Carolina in an NCAA college basketball game in the Southeastern Conference women's tournament Friday, March 8, 2019, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Chelsea Dungee scored 31 points -- marking her fifth 30-point performance of the season and third in her past five games -- and the University of Arkansas women upset No. 12 South Carolina 95-89 on Friday to end the Gamecocks' run of four consecutive SEC Tournament titles.

After the game, Dungee said there was no secret to her success.

"Just continuing to get to the basket, use my moves and just isolate the mismatch," Dungee said in an on-court, postgame interview with the SEC Network.

Alexis Tolefree made 4 three-pointers and scored 18 points, Malica Monk had 16 points and 6 assists, and Jailyn Mason tied a career high with 4 three-pointers to score 14 points for the Razorbacks (19-14), who became the first 10 seed to reach the SEC semifinals since 1993.

Kiara Williams grabbed 10 rebounds -- the 10th time this season she's done so -- to go with eight points. The Razorbacks, who last earned a victory over a ranked team on Feb. 9, 2015, against then-No. 24 Georgia, made half of their 22 shots from the three-point line and 26 of 32 free throws.

"I just feel like it's revenge," Monk said on the SEC Network. "We should have beat these guys during the season. It's just an amazing feeling to get out there and do what we're supposed to do and actually get the win we were supposed to get."

Dungee has scored 10 or more points in 30 of the Razorbacks' 33 games this season, including the past 13, and has scored 20 or more in 18 games.

"She's a straight bucket," Monk said of Dungee in the SEC Network interview. "Who doesn't want a straight bucket on their team?"

Arkansas Coach Mike Neighbors said the team's recent turnaround has been a total team effort.

"Everybody's been on the same page for about the past couple of weeks," Neighbors told the SEC Network. "We've been a work in progress, talking about peaking in March and I think we are."

Arkansas led by as many as 11 in the second quarter, but South Carolina trailed only 43-39 at halftime. The Razorbacks rebuilt a 10-point lead midway through the third quarter before the Gamecocks outscored the Razorbacks 21-10 the remainder of the period to grab a one-point lead, their first since late in the first quarter.

But Dungee hit a three-pointer to open the final period, and the Razorbacks would cling to the lead the rest of the way. Dungee made two free throws for a 93-86 lead before Mikiah Herbert Harrigan answered with a three-pointer with 29.6 seconds remaining. But the Gamecocks missed their final four shots while the Razorbacks went 2 of 4 from the free-throw line.

"We knew that we would have the advantage in the first half," Neighbors said. "And then we knew a run was going to come. When it came, we answered back, and I think we fought harder than before, so I'm super proud."

Harrigan scored a career-high 27 points for the Gamecocks (21-9). Tyasha Harris added 24 points, Alexis Jennings 16 and Bianca Cuevas-Moore 10.

South Carolina made only 7 of 25 three-point attempts, including 1 of 12 in the first half.

Sports on 03/09/2019

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