FAYETTEVILLE – Hot shooting junior Keira Peak
leads the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team into action this week as the Razorbacks host Texas Southern, Pepperdine and Kansas.
Arkansas (5-1) opens the home stand with Texas Southern Thursday at 7 p.m., followed by a 2 p.m. game with Pepperdine Sunday. The Razorbacks host Kansas at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6.
Peak, the reigning Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, was tough to stop last week leading the Razorbacks to a 3-1record on the road. She scored a career-best 30 points against No. 13 Oklahoma and scored 82 points over the four-game stretch. Peak is averaging 17.7 points per game this season leading the SEC.
“I’m pleased with the beginning of the season,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen
said. “We have a little bit of confidence now and I like where we are at. I’m really happy to be 5-1 right now. We still have a lot of work to do but I’m pleased with where we are.
“Keira was amazing this week,” he continued. “She has really turned it on. She’s always played hard and been athletic and now she’s starting to play with a lot of confidence. I’m really excited for her and hope that she can keep it up.”
Several other players are also settling into their roles making Arkansas a tough team to play. Senior Sarah Watkins
tied her career-best with 25 points in a win at Hawai’i. She has moved over the 1,000 career point plateau and is approaching the 500 career rebounding milestone as well.
Sophomore Jhasmin Bowen
has also played well. The Wichita, Kan., native, has two double-doubles on the year, scored in double figures three times and has made two starts.
Sophomore Calli Berna
was expected to handle the ball a lot for Arkansas this year and the Fayetteville, Ark., native has done it well through the first six games. She is tied for first in the SEC in assists with 5.3 assists per game this year. She is also fourth in the conference averaging 33.5 minutes per game.
Senior Quistelle Williams
and fifth year seniors Kelsey Hatcher
and Erin Gatling
have had important minutes for the Razorbacks as well.
“I like the poise of our fifth year seniors and some of our upperclassmen,” Collen said. “They are great leaders on and off the floor.”
As it has in the first six games, Thursday’s contest will take a team effort. The Tigers enter Bud Walton Arena with a 1-4 record against tough competition. The Tigers have depth and will likely look to slow the Razorbacks down in transition.
“Texas Southern is a much-improved team,” Collen said. “Their record doesn’t show that but they have played some good teams. They are going to come in a try and control tempo against us. This is not a team we can take for granted.”