Arkansas falls to Mississippi State in SEC final

By: Scottie Bordelon
Published: Sunday, March 10, 2019
Arkansas head coach Mike Neighbors yells at an official during the first half of an NCAA college basketball championship game against Mississippi State in the Southeastern Conference women's tournament, Sunday, March 10, 2019, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
Arkansas head coach Mike Neighbors yells at an official during the first half of an NCAA college basketball championship game against Mississippi State in the Southeastern Conference women's tournament, Sunday, March 10, 2019, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

Arkansas' thrilling run through the Southeastern Conference Women's Basketball Tournament came to an end at the hands of top-seeded Mississippi State on Sunday.

Bulldogs foward Teaira McCowan, the AP SEC Player of the Year, finished with 24 points and 14 rebounds and guard Andra Espinoza-Hunter scored 24 more to lead Mississippi State to a 101-70 win over the Razorbacks in the SEC Tournament championship game in Greenville, S.C.

Arkansas (20-14), which beat Georgia, South Carolina and Texas A&M to reach the tournament finals, will learn its postseason fate next Monday.

The Razorbacks, the first No. 10 seed to ever advance to the championship game, were led by sophomore Chelsea Dungee, who scored 24 points on 9-of-19 shooting to go with six rebounds, four assists and two steals. Alexis Tolefree was the only other Arkansas player in double figures with 10 points on 3-of-13 from the floor.

Behind back-to-back 31-point games to open tournament play, Dungee set an SEC Tournament record with 103 points scored. She added 17 in Arkansas' semifinal win over the Aggies on Saturday.

Dungee was also named to the All-Tournament team.

Following scores from Dungee and forward Kiara Williams in the first quarter, Arkansas led 12-8, but Mississippi State grabbed control for good behind a 20-2 run over the final six minutes of the quarter. McCowan scored 18 of her 24 points in the first half and Bre'Amber Scott, who finished with 20 points, added 13 before the break.

The Bulldogs shot 62.5 percent from the floor and 12-of-18 from 3-point range in the win. Espinoza-Hunter knocked down 8-of-11 3-point attempts, McCowan made 11 of her 15 shots and Scott hit 7-of-9. Mississippi State guard Jazzmun Holmes finished with 12 assists as well.

Jailyn Mason and Raven Northcross-Baker each added eight points for Arkansas in the loss.

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