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Monk's 21 points, 9 rebounds spark Arkansas (2-0) women

FAYETTEVILLE -- The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville's women's basketball team is carrying plenty of momentum as it heads on its first road trip.

Malica Monk had career highs in points and rebounds, and four teammates also had double figures in points in the Razorbacks' 84-63 victory over Samford on Sunday in Walton Arena.

Monk, a junior from North Little Rock scored 21 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and added 6 assists and 2 steals to fuel the Razorbacks (2-0).

"Being able to go out there with a lot of energy was the main component," Monk said. "We needed that energy and we got the energy and that played a big role throughout the game."

Arkansas Coach Mike Neighbors said Monk's fast start (12 points in the first half) helped the team take control early and her teammates fed off that energy.

"She did everything," Neighbors said. "When she is in that mode, she is really hard to guard."

Senior guard Devin Cosper had 18 points in 29 minutes and added 5 rebounds and 2 assists for Arkansas. Freshman forward Taylah Thomas scored 13 points, while sophomores Jailyn Mason and Kiara Williams added 12 and 10, respectively.

"It's nice when everybody is contributing and not just one person is scoring," Thomas said. "It's nice to know that everybody is contributing to the score and the little things are adding up to our wins."

Thomas shared team-high honors with Monk with nine rebounds.

"From the day we saw her I predicted [Thomas] might be our leading rebounder and I hope I'm wrong," Neighbors said. "It might be Malica."

While many of Monk's baskets came from drives that resulted in layups, she also scored in other ways. The guard was 2-for-3 behind the three-point line and made the most of her trips to the free-throw line, going 7-for-7.

The Razorbacks raced out to a 19-6 lead in the first quarter behind some strong shooting but Samford (0-2) responded with a variety of baskets around the rim. The Bulldogs took advantage of screens, slipping the screening player to the paint for easy layups.

"We had to make a personnel change and Taylah came in and did a great job," Neighbors said. "We made a schematic change at halftime and I thought that was the difference."

Sports on 11/13/2017

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