Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Walt Beazley)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) -- University of Arkansas senior Sarah Watkins became the 21st player in Razorback women's basketball history to grab 500 career rebounds leading her team to a 99-42 win over Mississippi Valley State in Bud Walton Arena Wednesday.
Arkansas (10-1) also got a career-best night from senior Quistelle Williams with 18 points and five boards as the Razorbacks reached the 10-win mark before January for the third consecutive year.
Watkins grabbed her 500th rebound at the 5:53 mark of the second half becoming the 17th player in program history to score at least 1000 points and have 500 boards in her career.
"Big players are hard to find," said Arkansas head coach Tom Collen, "and the fact that Sarah chose Arkansas means a lot. She continues to respond well to coming off the bench and I'm pleased that she was able to reach this milestone tonight."
The Razorbacks wanted to come out with intensity and they did just that dominating the game from tip to buzzer. Arkansas opened the contest on a 9-2 run more than doubling up MVSU (3-6) in the early minutes and the Razorbacks established a tempo that the Devilettes could not match.
Williams had 10 of Arkansas' 18 points in the first five minutes of the game helping the Razorbacks to an 18-7 lead at the first media timeout. Arkansas was 7-for-9 shooting 78 percent at the 14:40 mark of the first half.
The Razorbacks resumed the pressure after the first timeout jumping out with a 7-0 in under a minute as they continued to stretch the lead over MVSU. The run continued through the next media timeout growing to 15-0 in four minutes and Arkansas never looked back.
MVSU put together a bit of a run in the final two minutes as the Razorbacks weathered a 0-6 finish to the half, making the halftime lead to 29, 49-20. Williams finished the half with 14 points, three shy of her career-best. She was 6-for-6 to start the contest. It was the highest first-half point total of the season for the Razorbacks.
Arkansas's second half started a bit slower than the first but the Razorback offense quickly found its rhythm and stretched the lead running away with a 57-point win over the Deviletts. The Razorbacks shot 55.4 percent for the game on 36-for-65 shooting. Arkansas dominated the boards, out-rebounding MVSU, 54-26.
In addition to Watkins and Williams, the balanced Razorback performance included 11 points from sophomore Calli Berna. The Fayetteville, Ark., native was 3-for-4 from the floor and 4-for-5 from the line with seven assists and two steals.
Sophomore Jhasmin Bowen added 10 points and six rebounds while Dominique Robinson and Keira Peak had nine points each for Arkansas.
The Razorbacks host Northwestern State in a 7 p.m. contest Friday in the final game before a four-day holiday break. Youth 17 and under will be admitted free in the general admission seating area.
· Arkansas' 10 wins is the third consecutive season the Razorbacks have reached that win total before January and the fifth time in six seasons under Collen.
· Head coach Tom Collen is 320-137 (.700) overall in all games in 15 seasons.
· Collen is 103-67 in six seasons at Arkansas (100th vs. Pepperdine). He is the third coach with 100 wins in program history.
· Collen has taken Arkansas to three postseason appearances (WNIT, 2009, 2011; NCAA Second Round, 2012).
· Arkansas is 41-1 in non-conference games at Bud Walton under Tom Collen (loss to Missouri December 2007).
· Arkansas has won 27 consecutive non-conference games in Bud Walton.
· Arkansas ranks tied for second in the SEC in three-point percentage defense at .250. They have allowed 42 threes and 168 attempts in 10 games this year.
· The Razorbacks rank tied for first in the SEC in assist/turnover ratio with 1.3.
· Keira Peak had nine consecutive games in double figure scoring...She scored a career-best 30 points against No. 13 Oklahoma...Peak has three career double-doubles all this year (at Tulsa, vs. Oregon, vs. No. 17 Kansas).
· Dominique Wilson has started the last four games as a true freshman...Scored a career-best 11 points against Texas Southern...Averaging 14.6 minutes per game in her first season.
· Sarah Watkins has had eight games in double figure scoring/seven in a row.
· Quistelle Williams has six games in double figure scoring this year...Williams had double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds at Tulsa...Posted a career-best 18 points against MVSU.
· Senior Sarah Watkins (second-team) and sophomore Calli Berna (all-freshman team) were both All-SEC selections in 2012
· Arkansas is 206-76 in 20 seasons in Bud Walton Arena.
· Sarah Watkins became the 26th player in program history to score at least 1,000 career points. She finsihed the MVSU game with 17 points for 1103 career points in 108 games. She ranks 23rd in program history.
· Sarah Watkins ranks 21st in career rebounds with 500 in 108 games.
· Sarah Watkins ranks second in career blocked shots with 167.
· Sarah Watkins is the 17th player in program history to reach the 1,000 point, 500 rebound plateau.
· Arkansas has won five tips (Tulsa, Hawai'i, Pepperdine, Furman, MVSU).
· Arkansas is 9-0 when leading at half...1-0 when tied and 0-1 when trailing at half.
· Arkansas has had eight games with at least three players scoring double figures.