12/10 - 7:00 PM
WBB vs Tulsa
12/20 - 7:00 PM
WBB vs Tennessee Tech
12/28 - 2:00 PM
WBB vs Mississippi Valley State
01/02 - 7:00 PM
WBB vs SOUTH CAROLINA
01/05 - 2:00 PM
WBB at MISSOURI
01/09 - 6:00 PM
WBB at FLORIDA
01/12 - 2:00 PM
WBB vs MISSISSIPPI STATE
01/16 - 6:00 PM
WBB at GEORGIA
01/19 - 2:00 PM
WBB vs OLE MISS
01/26 - 12:00 PM
WBB at KENTUCKY
01/30 - 6:00 PM
WBB at TENNESSEE
02/02 - 2:00 PM
WBB vs AUBURN
02/06 - 7:00 PM
WBB vs FLORIDA
02/09 - 1:00 PM
WBB at SOUTH CAROLINA
02/13 - 7:00 PM
WBB vs ALABAMA
FAYETTEVILLE--The University of Arkansas women's basketball team wrapped up the 2011-12 season at the NCAA Tournament in College Station, Texas.
ARKANSAS DOWNS RANKED TEAM IN OPENING WEEK
The Razorbacks opened the season at the WBI Tip-Off Classic going 2-1 with a win over No.13 Florida State to start the year. Junior Sarah Watkins hit a big three-pointer with under a minute to play lifting Arkansas to the 55-52 win in Daytona Beach, Fla. It was the first of four wins over ranked opponents by the Razorbacks in 2011-12.
RICKETTS, WATKINS EARN ALL-TOURNAMENT
Senior C’eira Ricketts and junior Sarah Watkins earned selection to the WBI Tip-Off Classic All-Tournament team for their play in the opening weekend. Ricketts, a Louisville, Ky., native, averaged 15.3 point per game, had 11 steals, 12 assists and 17 rebounds in three games. Watkins, a Germantown, Tenn., native, averaged 13.3 ppg with five blocks and 16 rebounds. Watkins went 11-for-16 from the line for the tournament.
ARKANSAS WINS 11 IN A ROW
The Razorbacks opened the year with a close loss to Minnesota in the WBI Tip-Off Classic but then won 11 non-conference games in a row beginning with South Florida and Florida State. The streak also included victories over Texas-Arlington, Utah, Grambling State, Middle Tennessee State, Stephen F. Austin, Oral Roberts, Morgan State, Texas Southern and Mississippi Valley State. Arkansas head coach Tom Collen has orchestrated winning streaks of 15, 12 and 11 in his five seasons with the Razorbacks. The 15-game winning streak in 2007-08 to start the year is the program record for consecutive wins.
ARKANSAS WINS EIGHT CONSECUTIVE SEC GAMES
Head coach Tom Collen also guided the Razorbacks to a program-best eight consecutive Southeastern Conference game winning streak this season. Arkansas opened the year dropping its first four SEC games (at No. 17 Georgia, at No. 11 Kentucky, vs. No. 6 Tennessee and at Ole Miss) but downed Auburn, No. 25 Vanderbilt, LSU, Mississippi State, Florida, Alabama, No. 24 South Carolina and Auburn in a row. The streak bettered the five game SEC winning streaks in 1994-95 and 2008-09.
Arkansas won 11 consecutive Southwest Conference games (including three games in the SWC Tournament) in 1990-91 and won nine consecutive SWC regular season games in 1989-90.
ARKANSAS DEFEATS THREE RANKED SEC TEAMS
The Razorbacks picked up three wins over ranked Southeastern Conference teams in 2011-12 and four wins over ranked opponents for the season. After starting the season with a win over non-conference No. 13 Florida State, Arkansas notched victories over No. 25/22 Vanderbilt, 69-47; No. 24/24 South Carolina, 68-47; and at No. 9/11 Tennessee, 72-71.
ARKANSAS DOWNS TENNESSEE – IN KNOXVILLE
Junior Sarah Watkins hit a layup with eight seconds on the clock forcing overtime with the game tied at 62, and senior Lyndsay Harris hit two in overtime giving Arkansas a 72-71 win in overtime over No. 9/11 Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn. The win was the first-ever victory over the Lady Vols in Knoxville and just the second in program history. The Razorbacks hit the final four points and held Tennessee scoreless late for the win. Harris paced Arkansas with 20 points and Watkins had 18. Senior C’eira Ricketts added 16 in the win. Arkansas’ first half effort was fantastic and they played themselves to a 31-26 lead at the break. Harris had 11 points to lead all scorers in the first 20 minutes but Arkansas’ aggressive play racked up nine fouls. The Razorbacks shot 57.9 percent in the first half hitting 11-of-19 shots and the Razorbacks did a good job defensively, holding Tennessee to 9-for-20 from the floor and forcing 10 Lady Vol turnovers. Tennessee came out much more aggressive defensively in the second half and outscored Arkansas 36-31 in the second half but Watkins layup allowed Arkansas to hold on to the tie and force the extra period. The Razorbacks finished the game hitting 25-for-50 from the floor and eight three pointers.
ARKANSAS TIED FOR FOURTH IN SEC; EARN FIFTH SEED IN TOURNAMENT
The Razorbacks finished the regular season with a program-best 10 Southeastern Conference wins (10-6) tying for fourth place overall in the league standings – also a program-best for Arkansas. Due to the tie-breakers, Arkansas entered the SEC Tournament as a fifth-seed, the highest seeding for the Razorbacks since joining the SEC. Arkansas also notched a first-round SEC Tournament win over Ole Miss, snapping a six-year first-round exit for the Razorbacks.
POSTSEASON AWARDS FOR RICKETTS, WATKINS, BERNA AND INMAN
Senior C’eira Ricketts earned All-SEC First-Team honors, junior Sarah Watkins earned All-SEC Second-Team honors and freshman Calli Berna was selected to the SEC All- Freshman Team. Senior Julie Inman earned SEC Community Service Team honors in 2011-12.
Ricketts, a senior from Louisville, Ky., paced the Razorbacks all season leading the team in scoring. The 5-9 guard became a 1,000-point scorer last year and went on to set the career record for steals at Arkansas this year. Ricketts is 11th in scoring in SEC games this year. She is third in assists, second in steals, second in assist/turnover ratio and seventh in minutes played. She was a preseason first-team selection by both the media and coaches this year.
Watkins earned her second, second-team honor this year after having a solid season on the floor for the Razorbacks. Watkins ranks 21st in the SEC in scoring this year, ninth in free throw percentage and is tied for first in blocked shots. The Germantown, Tenn., native has scored 936 career points, has 438 rebounds and 158 blocks in three seasons.
Berna is an impact player for the Razorbacks as a true freshman. The Fayetteville, Ark., native scored a career-best 13 points in the season opener against Minnesota. She traded in a starting role to come off the bench as one of the more effective sixth players in the league. Berna ranks fifth in the SEC in three-point percentage and hit a key basket for the Razorbacks in the program’s first-ever win in Knoxville, Tenn., just last week.
Inman, a 5-9 guard from Carlisle, Ark., has been among the Razorback leaders with her community service efforts. She was selected as part of a 12-member team and is the 14th Razorback selected in the history of the program. Inman is active in several area community service events including the Book Hogs Read To Win Program (reading to area elementary students in Northwest Arkansas), Sweat Hawgs Program (encouraging young people to get active), reading to elementary kids at West Fork schools, working several campus events for the SEC “Together We CAN” canned food drive, participating in Lift Up America, working with area food banks, visiting Happy Hollow Elementary to speak about making good decisions, participating in the American Heart Association walk, visiting Butterfield Trail Village (retirement community), Rocking with the Razorbacks participant, working the Habitat For Humanity Fall Festival at the Jones Center, hosting a Book Hogs Pizza Party at Bud Walton Arena (for area youth), and Martin Luther King Youth Day activities (celebrating a day of service with area youth).
RICKETTS HONORED BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
Senior C’eira Ricketts was selected to The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference women’s basketball second team. Ricketts, a Louisville, Ky., native, earned All-SEC First-Team honors from the coaches after leading the Razorbacks to a 23-8 overall record, a 10-6 mark in SEC play and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The point guard for the Razorbacks paced the team, scoring 11.3 points per game and grabbed 4.6 rebounds per game this season. She became the Razorbacks’ all-time steals leader in program history, ranks seventh for career points with 1,514, 11th in rebounding with 657 and third in assists with 508. She also ranks 30th in the NCAA in assist/turnover ratio, 40th in steals per game and 67th in the country in assists per game this year.
TOM COLLEN, SEC COACH OF THE YEAR
University of Arkansas head women’s basketball coach Tom Collen was named Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year. Collen was one of five Razorbacks picking up SEC honors. Senior C’eira Ricketts earned All-SEC First-Team honors, junior Sarah Watkins earned All-SEC Second-Team honors and freshman Calli Berna was selected to the SEC All- Freshman Team. Senior Julie Inman earned SEC Community Service Team honors. Collen is in his fifth season at Arkansas and has paced Arkansas to a 90-64 record in that time. He guided the Razorbacks to the second round of the WNIT in 2008-09 and to the WNIT quarterfinals last year. Collen’s teams set the school record for consecutive wins with 15 in 2008-09 and nearly matched that with 12 last year. This season, Collen led the Razorbacks to a program record eight consecutive SEC wins. In addition, Arkansas defeated four ranked teams, three in the SEC, and won a program-best 10 SEC games. Collen is the first Razorback women’s basketball coach to each SEC Coach of the Year honors, and joins former Razorback men’s basketball coach Nolan Richardson as the only two hoops coaches at Arkansas to be selected. Richardson was selected in 1998.
ARKANSAS RECEIVES NCAA TOURNAMENT AT-LARGE INVITATION
Arkansas received an at-large bid and faces Dayton in College Station, Texas, in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. Arkansas entered the tournament as a sixth seed facing the 11th-seeded Flyers. This is the third time Arkansas has been the sixth seed (1995, 2002). Arkansas was a three seed in 1991. The Razorbacks played their way into the NCAA Tournament by virtue of a good 2011-12 “resume” that included wins over four ranked opponents, eight consecutive Southeastern Conference regular season wins, a program-best 10-6 record and tie for fourth place in the league and a 23-8 overall record. Arkansas had a strong schedule and finished No. 33 in the NCAA RPI released before the selections. The trip to the NCAA Tournament is the first for current head coach Tom Collen at Arkansas. Collen is making his eighth appearance in the tournament in 14 years as a head coach. He guided Arkansas to a pair of WNIT appearances with the Razorbacks reaching the quarterfinals last season. The NCAA Tournament appearance is the first for this year’s five-member senior class and the first since the 2003 season when the Razorbacks reached the second round. That senior class includes Ashley Daniels, Lyndsay Harris, Julie Inman, C’eira Ricketts and Jamesha Townsend.
CAREER RECORDS PLENTIFUL
As the 2011-12 season closed, several Razorback players moved up or into the Arkansas career records lists. Seniors C’eira Ricketts, Lyndsay Harris and Ashley Daniels’ names are splashed all over the record books.
Ricketts finished her career ranked seventh in points (15,37), 10th in rebounding (664), third in assists (516),sixth in field goals made (606), third in field goal attempts (1,498) and first in career steals (320).
Harris finished her career ranked 14th in points (1,347), 14th in assists (265), tied for sixth in field goal attempts (1,244), second in three point goals (283), first in three point attempts (858) and 10th in three point percentage (.330).
Daniels finished her career ranked 31st in points (785) and fourth in rebounds (715).
Some returners to keep an eye on include junior Sarah Watkins who ranks 26th in points (964), 26th in rebounding (452) and third in blocked shots (161). Junior Quistelle Williams is on the verge of breaking into the top 30 for career rebounds and will enter next year with 317.
ARKANSAS IN THE DANCE
Perhaps the biggest highlight to the 2011-12 season was the Razorbacks invitation to the NCAA Tournament. The team and coaches felt they had earned a postseason invitation through a great resume of work amassed over the season but it is a nerve-racking experience until you see you name on the big board. Senior Lyndsay Harris commented that she didn’t realize just how nervous she was until she saw “Arkansas” on the screen during the watch party. She was final able to breathe. Arkansas did receive an at-large invitation and was one of eight SEC schools (nine if you include Texas A&M) to get into the tournament.
The Razorbacks traveled to future SEC member Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, for their first and second -round games.
Arkansas opened with Dayton in the first round, meeting the Flyers for the first time in program history.
After trailing by 14 three times in the first half, junior Quistelle Williams and sophomore Keira Peak heated up and Ashley Daniels had 12 rebounds guiding the Razorbacks to a 75-37 win. It was the first win in the NCAA Tournament since 2003 and sent Arkansas to at least the second round for the eighth time in program history.
The Razorbacks then had the unenviable task of facing defending national champion Texas A&M on their home floor in the second round. The storylines were plenty in the match up as former Razorback head coach Gary Blair and current Arkansas head coach Tom Collen squared off. Collen was an assistant head coach under Blair at Arkansas in the 1990’s and most of the Aggie staff had worked at Arkansas.
Arkansas’ offense was slow to start - a problem that plagued the team all season. The Razorbacks were down by as much as 14 early with more than 9,000 screaming Aggie fans cheering on the home team.
But Arkansas wouldn’t go away. The Razorbacks continued to chip away at the score until tying the game with just over a minute to play. The teams traded misses before the Razorbacks fouled an A&M player who was driving the lane.
Texas A&M hit the free throws giving them the two-point advantage with 23.5 seconds left in the game.
Arkansas used a timeout and drew up the play. The Razorbacks got an open look but left the shot just short unable to complete the upset.