Arkansas’ NCAA Tournament hanging by a thread after loss to Mississippi State

The rough second half of January has turned into a rough six weeks for the Arkansas women’s basketball team.

The Razorbacks lost a third straight game and their eighth in their last 10 games on Thursday as Mississippi State strengthened its NCAA Tournament hopes instead with an 87-73 win in Starkville.

Arkansas was listed as the “First Team Out” in Charlie Creme’s Bracketology for ESPN earlier in the week. But the Razorbacks have just one regular-season game left to fix things. It comes Sunday at home against Texas A&M, the last-place team in the SEC, suggesting Arkansas would need at least a couple wins, if not three, in the conference tournament to make the Dance.

The Hogs didn’t look much like a Tournament team on Thursday as MSU jumped out to a 25-9 lead after the first quarter. Arkansas shot 35% from the floor and just 25% from 3-point range.

Bench play was one of the biggest issues. Samara Spencer had 26 for Arkansas to lead all scorers, but the Razorbacks reserves had just six points to the Bulldogs’ 26.

Arkansas isn’t cooked yet, though. The Razorbacks sit at 19-11 and 6-9 in the SEC. Last year they finished 18-13 and 7-9 in league play and still made the NCAA Tournament.

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Story originally appeared on Razorbacks Wire