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@RazorbackWBB Returns Home, Hosts NSU on Saturday

12/06/2013
Athletic Communications
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FAYETTEVILLE -- The University of Arkansas women's basketball team (9-0) returns home for a five-game homestand, beginning with Northwestern State (4-2) on Saturday at Bud Walton Arena.

The Lady Demons enter the matchup with wins over Southern Arkansas, Houston, Savannah State and Jackson State. The two losses this season for the Lady Demons have come against Baylor and UTSA.

NSU finished 12-18 overall last season, winning just two games on the road and going 2-13 on visiting courts. The Lady Demons finished eighth in the Southland Conference standings and went 7-11 in league play.

NSU returns four of five starters and six players from last year's squad, including two that are now averaging double figures this season. Trudy Armsteaad leads the team at 18.8 points per game, while also pacing the team in rebounding at 7.5 boards per game. Keisha Lee is another scorer to watch, closely behind for the team's leading scorer averaging 17.4 points per contest.

Expect the Razorback defense to work on forcing NSU into outside shots, as the Lady Demons have struggled from three-point range this season and shot just 25.3 percent from beyond the arc. The Lady Demons will have to work for shots against Arkansas, which holds the NCAA's No. 1 scoring defense and No. 3 field-goal percentage defense.

"I've been very happy with the defense," head coach Tom Collen said. "I think our veterans have really embraced the significance of our scouting reports and they really taught our freshmen the importance of that. The freshmen are starting to come around on the defensive end, and that has prompted our defense to be a bit better than I thought it may be."

With UA holding a 9-3 all-time record over NSU, the two programs most reccently met last season, as UA rolled to an 80-41 home victory. Four Razorbacks scored in double digits, led by Jhasmin Bowen with 17 points.

Averaging 10.4 points per game so far this season, Bowen is one of three current Razorbacks averaging double-digit scoring. The junior forward has shared the scoring load with freshman Jessica Jackson (14.4 ppg) and senior Keira Peak (13.0 ppg).

Coming off a notable and energized road win at Kansas, Collen has continued to remind his team that the enthusiasm must be carried forward and no team can be overlooked.

"They're going to be a pretty competitive game," Collen said of NSU. "They came in last year and ran a lot of Princeton offense. They try to grind you down and make you work for 25 seconds at a time. That's tough on a team defensively. I expect them to be a competitive team and we certainly can't overlook them."

Arkansas and Northwestern State are scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. Saturday inside Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.

The game will air in Northwest Arkansas on KOSM-FM 92.1; in Rogers on KURM-AM 790; in Fort Smith on KFPW-FM 94.5 FM and 1230 AM; and in Little Rock on KREB-FM 103.7.

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


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