FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Chasity Patterson scored a career-high 32 points, and Rhyne Howard returned to the lineup, scoring 20 points, but the 15th-ranked Kentucky women's basketball team lost at No. 25 Arkansas 103-85 on Sunday afternoon at Bud Walton Arena.
Patterson scored 21 of her points in the fourth quarter, and 26 in the second half. The junior connected on 11 of 18 from the floor, including five of seven from behind the arc. She also made all five of her free throws in the game.
Howard played for the first time in nearly two weeks after breaking a finger on her left hand. Despite being somewhat rusty, the sophomore made seven of 21 shots from the floor, including one of 10 from behind the arc. She also made five of seven from the line in scoring 20 or more points for the 14th time this season and the 24th time in her career.
Each team came out hot from the field, with Kentucky making four of its first five shots, while Arkansas made its first three shots, all leading to a 10-7 lead for the Cats. Kentucky's first six baskets of the game were by six different players.
With the Cats leading 14-11, the Razorbacks went on an 8-0 run to take a 19-14 advantage with 1:58 left in the period. But the Cats responded by scoring the last seven points of the period, taking a 21-19 lead after one quarter of play. Seven Wildcats scored in the period, as the Cats hit nine of 17 shots, including three of five from behind the arc.
In the second period, Arkansas tied the game at 21 apiece on a layup by Taylah Thomas, but the Cats got a running layup from Howard to take a 23-21 advantage. But Arkansas would score 12 straight points to lead 33-23 with 3:16 left in the half.
Kentucky was able to bounce back before the end of the half. The Cats got consecutive baskets from Blair Green, Patterson and Tatyana Wyatt to cut the deficit to 33-29 with 2:23 to play in the half. Kentucky would get within three, 38-35, on a runner by Jaida Roper just before the halftime buzzer. Roper led the Cats with seven first-half points.
Howard scored Kentucky's first points of the second half on a right-side jumper on the Cats' first possession. After consecutive baskets by Arkansas, Howard scored again, cutting the Arkansas lead to 42-39. But Arkansas went on a 10-1 run to grab a 52-40 lead. The Cats would stop the run on a Roper runner with 5:55 left in the period.
Amanda Pashcal hit a three on Kentucky's next possession to cut the deficit to seven, 52-45. After a layup by Arkansas' Thomas, the Cats got a three from Patterson to get even closer, 54-48. But Arkansas was in the midst of hitting nine of 10 shots from the field, and the Razorbacks would extend the lead to 61-48. The Hogs would lead 71-54 after three quarters.
The Cats proved that they would not go away quietly in the fourth quarter. Kentucky got a three from Patterson and back-to-back baskets from Howard to cut the Arkansas lead to 71-61. After Arkansas extended its lead to 15 points on a three from Chelsea Dungee, Patterson scored six in a row to get the Cats within nine, 78-69. Kentucky would eventually get within eight, but would get no closer.
Kentucky returns to action on Sunday, hosting Mississippi State at Memorial Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on ESPN2.