Displeased Dungee ready to go out winning

By: Seth Campbell
Published: Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Arkansas guard Chelsea Dungee (33) celebrates a basket during a game against UConn on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in Fayetteville.
( David Gottschalk)
Arkansas guard Chelsea Dungee (33) celebrates a basket during a game against UConn on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in Fayetteville.

Arkansas guard Chelsea Dungee didn't mince words when she was asked if Kentucky's Rhyne Howard winning SEC player of the year Tuesday gave her extra motivation heading into the SEC Tournament.

"Absolutely. I think they pre-determined that without the season even starting, which doesn't make sense to me, to be honest," she said. "But hey, it is what it is."

Dungee earned All-SEC first-team honors Tuesday in a season in which she has posted career highs in points per game (22.2), field goal percentage (43%) and three-point percentage (39%). 

Howard, a junior from Cleveland, Tenn., won her second SEC player of the year award scoring 19.8 points per game, shooting 43% from the field and making 36% of her shots from beyond the arc. Howard also averaged 7.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists compared to Dungee's 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists. 

Arkansas coach Mike Neighbors echoed Dungee's statements about her being extra motivated heading into postseason play. 

"I don't think it's a slight," Neighbors said. "I hope she doesn't take it as that, but if it puts a chip on her shoulder that's OK."

Dungee playing with a chip on her shoulder in the SEC Tournament is nothing new. 

"She's always gone down there with some type of a chip," Neighbors said. "That one year she said it was because she didn't make (All-SEC) first team. So if it puts her hair on fire, that's fine."

Dungee was voted All-SEC second team by the league's coaches last year. She responded with 47 points (15.7 ppg) on 39% from the field and 56% from beyond the arc over three games. She led Arkansas to two wins before losing to South Carolina in the conference championship game. 

For SEC opponents, a motivated Dungee is not exactly who they want to see in Greenville, S.C.

Over seven games at the SEC Tournament, Dungee has scored 150 points (21.4 ppg), shot 45% from the field, 48% from the three-point line, pulled down 25 rebounds and added 13 assists. 

While Arkansas has garnered respect this year for beating two Associated Press top 5 teams, Dungee still believes Arkansas flies under the radar.

"Arkansas is not always a favorite," she said. "But I'm kind of used to that."

Regardless of individual awards, when it comes down to postseason play Dungee just wants to win. 

"I want to win this tournament," She said. "I think that would be amazing. I want to make it deep in the NCAA Tournament if not win it all. I think we're very capable. I think we've shown that to the whole country.

"We're one that you have to watch out for. I want to go out winning."

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