Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Logan J. Webster)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - The University of Arkansas women's basketball team brings a six-game winning streak back to Bud Walton Arena this week hosting Mississippi Valley State Wednesday and Northwestern State on Friday.
The Razorbacks are 9-1 on the year and on the verge of breaking into the top 25 this week. Arkansas is coming off a convincing win at Furman after a 10-day break from competition from finals.
"We got off to a slow start at Furman but we hung in there until the shooting came around," Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. "I was pleased with the overall effort. I just want to see us continue to improve and play with a lot of intensity as we work through the holidays."
Arkansas has had a balanced attack with several different players stepping up in different games. Junior Keira Peak has elevated her game scoring in double figures in nine of 10 games. Seniors Sarah Watkins and Quistelle Williams have both tied or exceeded their career-bests in scoring this year as well.
"Every player we needed to step up and play at a higher level has done that so far and that's the reason for our success," Collen said. "I have quietly had pretty high expectations of this team. We still have things to work on for sure but so far this team has been willing to work hard and get better every day."
Arkansas enters the game ranked eighth in the country in turnovers per game. The Razorbacks average just 12.6 turnovers per game and are seventh in the country in assist/turnover ratio.
In addition to taking care of the ball, the Razorbacks have eliminated the long scoring droughts that plagued them in the first few games of the season.
Arkansas' Wednesday opponent comes to Bud Walton with a 3-5 record on the year. The Devilettes had a two-point loss to the Razorbacks' SEC rival Ole Miss in Oxford with a shot to win that game at the buzzer. In addition, they played Kansas State well outscoring them in the second half before dropping the game.
Alia Frank leads the team with 13.0 points per game and 5.9 rebounds per game this year.
Arkansas is paced by Peak who is averaging 15.0 ppg this year. Watkins is a close second at 12.2 and is eight rebounds shy of her career 500th board. Should she reach that mark, Watkins will be the 17th player in program history to both score 1,000 points and grab 500 rebounds.
Fans for both the Wednesday and Sunday games are invited to bring young guests for free. Youth, 17 and under, will get in free in the general admission sections. Adult general admission tickets are just $6 for those games. In addition, fans attending the MVSU game will receive a free desk calendar.