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@RazorbackWBB Battles Kansas Live On ESPN3 Tonight

12/04/2013
Athletic Communications
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FAYETTEVILLE -- Preparing for its first true road test of the season, the University of Arkansas women's basketball team (8-0) travels to face Kansas (4-3) on Wednesday inside Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan. The game will air on ESPN3.com and is subject to blackout.

The toughest non-conference matchup yet this season, head coach Tom Collen feels the game should provide a good indication as to where this young Razorback team is at right now.

"We need the competition badly," Collen said. "We need to play a really good basketball team that challenges us and makes us take our game to another level. We're looking for a good basketball game. Hopefully we'll play well and come out with a win."

The Jayhawks enter with wins over Oral Roberts, SIU-Edwardsville, Creighton and Central Michigan, while losing three of their last four on the road to respectable opponents in No. 2 Duke, Minnesota and Xavier.

Kansas finished 20-14 overall last season, including a 13-4 record at home. The Jayhawks are coming off their second straight NCAA Sweet 16 appearance. Head coach Bonnie Henrickson has been at the helm for nine years, advancing KU to postseason play in seven of her nine seasons.

Wednesday's game will be played out in one of college basketball's historic venues, Allen Fieldhouse. With capacity seating of 16,300, the arena is the largest in the state of Kansas and second largest in the Big 12 Conference.

"I've been up there and coached before and our veterans have been up there," Collen said. "Some of them have experienced that already and its a neat place. There's a lot of tradition there and we'll talk about that a bit. I think the thing that we're really concentrating on is just the game and the competition."

Kansas enters with two players averaging double figures so far this season, led by Chelsea Gardner's 15.3 points per game. The junior forward also leads the Jayhawks in rebounds at 8.6 per contest. Asia Boyd provides additional experience and scoring, as the junior guard has averaged 11.7 points per game for KU.

Both the Jayhawks and Razorbacks have had the challenge of stepping up and replacing scoring leaders and starters this season. KU saw long-time starters Angel Goodrich and Tania Jackson graduate, just as AU did in top scorers Quistelle Williams and Sarah Watkins.

For Arkansas, Jessica Jackson (14.4 ppg), Keira Peak (12.1 ppg) and Jhasmin Bowen (10.5 ppg) have answered the call and are each averaging double-digit scoring so far this season.

"They're a little like us in that they graduated some really good players," Collen said of Kansas. "Chelsea Gardner was not a double-digit scorer for them last year, but now she's scoring 14 or 15 a game. Boyd was the same way. They have some similarity to us."

Just the sixth meeting between the two programs, Arkansas earned a 64-56 victory over Kansas in the most recent meeting last season at Bud Walton Arena. Calli Berna scored 11 points, while Peak added 10 points in the win over the Jayhawks.

"I know they're going to come ready and they want us badly," Collen said. "We beat them down here and I'm sure they considered that an upset. They want a piece of us and I expect the level of competition to be pretty intense."

Arkansas (8-0) and Kansas (4-3) are scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. Wednesday inside Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan.

The game will air in Northwest Arkansas on KOSM-FM 92.1; in Rogers on KURM-AM 790; in Fort Smith on KFPW-FM and 94.5 FM and 1230 AM; and in Little Rock on KREB-FM 103.7. Additionally, the game can be streamed online at ESPN3.com.

For more information on Arkansas women's basketball, follow @RazorbackWBB on Twitter.


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