Angel Baker made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 29.1 seconds left and No. 13 Wright State stunned No. 4 Arkansas 66-62 on Monday in the biggest upset so far of the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament.
Jada Roberson made two free throws with 8.1 seconds left to seal the victory for the Horizon League tournament champions, who were playing in just their third NCAA Tournament.
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Baker scored 26 points and the Raiders (19-7) are the first No. 13 seed to beat a No. 4 since 2012. Coming into the tournament, No. 13 seeds were 9-104 all time.
This one had the making of an upset from the start, when the Raiders were the more aggressive and confident team in bolting to a big lead by the end of the first quarter.
With Baker leading the way, Wright State used a frantic early pace to build the lead, then counterpunched late to secure the win after falling behind. Roberson’s clinching free throws came on her only trip to the line.
Arkansas, a seasoned team that had knocked off No. 1 seed UConn and No. 2 seed Baylor during the season, rallied from 11 points down in the fourth quarter to take a 59-58 lead on Chelsea Dungee’s 3-pointer with 1:51 to play. The teams traded the lead two more times before Baker swished the long 3-pointer from the right wing.
Baker then grabbed a critical defensive rebound off an Arkansas miss with 12 seconds left before a foul sent Roberson to the line for the two clinching free throws.
Dungee finished with 27 points for Arkansas (19-9) and led the comeback that nearly won it for the Razorbacks.
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LONG RANGE WOES
Arkansas came in as one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country, but was just 7 of 22 from long range, including a 2 of 12 effort in the first half.
Wright State advances to the second round to play the winner of the matchup between No. 5 Missouri State (21-2) and No. 12 UC-Davis (13-2)