And One: Delmonica DeHorney, Arkansas legend

Delmonica DeHorney. (photo courtesy of Razorbacks Athletics Communications)
Delmonica DeHorney. (photo courtesy of Razorbacks Athletics Communications) /
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Delmonica DeHorney. (photo courtesy of Razorbacks Athletics Communications)
Delmonica DeHorney. (photo courtesy of Razorbacks Athletics Communications) /

Early on, Sutherland acknowledged the depth they were able to develop the prior year.

“We can go as many as 10 deep and play a running game,” he told the press. “We have a lot more depth than we’ve ever had before.”

Starting on a five-game winning streak, the Razorbacks finished their non-conference season 6-2, one of those losses coming to No. 7 Auburn. They then ripped off six straight wins to open conference play; their first loss came to No. 1 Texas in late January, but they responded with seven straight wins after that.

That start earned them the final spot in the top-25 poll before they got a second shot at the Longhorns, this time on the road.

Texas at that time wasn’t just a powerhouse; they were unstoppable in conference play. On a streak of 183 conference victories including all 132 of their games in the SWC since 1982, the No. 6 Longhorns packed the Frank Erwin Center when the second-place Razorbacks came to town.

In front of 11,616 Texas fans, DeHorney put the conference and country on notice.

With the go-ahead basket near the 2-minute mark, DeHorney led the Razorbacks to a stunning 82-77 victory over the Longhorns, tallying 26 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 blocks.

A gut-punch for Texas, the win for the Razorbacks confirmed their belief they could take over the conference and added to their national résumé. DeHorney also earned national recognition for her effort, as she was named women’s college basketball player of the week by Sports Illustrated.

Jumping up to No. 19 in the national poll, Arkansas finished the regular season with a win over Rice. At 15-1, they were conference co-champs alongside Texas, and DeHorney was unanimously voted SWC Player of the Year after leading the conference in scoring.

DeHorney and the Razorbacks suffered a disappointing first-round loss to Texas Tech in the SWC Tournament, but their season continued in the NCAA Tournament.

After beating UCLA in their first-round matchup, the No. 22 Razorbacks were set to face No. 7 Georgia.

Coach Andy Landers had an intimidating group built around a frontcourt of Lady Hardmon (a future WNBA star), Stacey Ford, and center Tammye Jenkins, while Adrienne Shuler and Sharon Baldwin ran the team from the backcourt.

But the Razorbacks were on too strong a roll; DeHorney sank all six of her shots from the field, and the balanced Arkansas squad came away with the 81-70 win.

DeHorney’s game only ramped up.

Two days later the Razorbacks matched up with No. 6 Stephen F. Austin, where she had 32 points in the 87-82 win.

For their efforts, they earned an Elite Eight matchup with No. 2 Stanford at Maples Pavilion. Tara VanDerveer had built a juggernaut of her own on the West Coast, led by Naismith Award winner Jennifer Azzi alongside Sonja Henning and Trisha Stevens.

DeHorney and the Razorbacks were used to being the underdogs. The junior center stepped up, dropping 39 points against the Cardinal. That mark stands as an NCAA Tournament record for the Razorbacks, but it wasn’t enough. Stanford had too much offense, overpowering Arkansas with a 114-87 win. VanDerveer would go on to lead the team to the National Championship that year.

DeHorney’s consecutive 30-point games rounded out a tournament appearance where she averaged 27.5 points on average, a mark that still holds up as ninth-best in tournament history.

With 83 blocks that season, she set a season record for Arkansas, adding to an already impressive stat line, averaging 20.0 points on 62.8% from the field along with 7.0 rebounds. She led the team in scoring, field goal percentage, rebounds, and blocks and made a career-best and team-leading 143 of 213 free throws.

As Arkansas rose to national prominence, so did DeHorney. That summer she was named the Southwest Conference Female Athlete of the Year and earned a tryout for the U.S. Women’s National Team being assembled for the World Cup.