The University of Arkansas returned home for the start of a three game stretch at Bud Walton Arena. The Razorbacks opened the week with a Thursday win, 72-50, over Texas Southern, a game in which four players scored in double figures. Three players, Keira Peak, Kelsey Hatcher and Sarah Watkins had 12 each for the Razorbacks while Dominique Wilson added 11 in the win. Arkansas followed up with a win over Pepperdine Sunday. Sarah Watkins lead the team with 18 points for the Razorbacks.
VERSUS NON-CONFERENCE TEAMS
Arkansas is 39-1 in non-conference games at Bud Walton under Tom Collen. The last loss for Arkansas was to Missouri in December of 2007. Arkansas has won 25 consecutive non-conference games in Bud Walton.
ABOUT SARAH WATKINS
Sarah Watkins slipped over the 1,000 point career scoring plateau with a 25-point effort in a win at Hawai’i in Honolulu. Watkins, a Germantown, Tenn., native, begin the 2012-13 season with 962 points. She scored 98 points in the first seven games moving to 1,062 in 105 career games. Watkins became the 27th player in program history to score at least 1,000 career points for the Razorbacks. As a freshman, Watkins scored 176 points. She upped that to 458 points as a sophomore and had 330 last year as a junior.
In addition to scoring, Watkins is a solid rebounder. She has 483 career boards and would be the 26th player to go over the 500 career rebounding mark. Should Watkins reach both milestones, she will be the 17th player in program history to go over 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds.
WATKINS CAN BLOCK SHOTS
Watkins is also pretty good at blocking shots. She currently ranks second in program history with 167 career blocks. Delmonica DeHorney (87-91) holds the school record with 235 career blocked shots.
ABOUT JHASMIN BOWEN
Sophomore Jhasmin Bowen is ignoring the sophomore slump and is out to a great start in her second season. Bowen has three games with double figure scoring including two double-doubles this year. Bowen posted a career-best 14 points in the opener against Jackson State and matched that with 14 again Oregon in Hawai’i. Bowen has recorded 10 rebounds twice. Bowen moved into the starting lineup at Hawai’i.
TO START OR NOT TO START
Senior Sarah Watkins has been the starter at the post for much of her career at Arkansas. Early this season, however, Watkins has found herself with limited minutes due to foul trouble. She has fouled out twice and had two other games with four fouls this year. As a result, Collen did not start Watkins against Hawai’i or Oregon and the senior answered with a career-best tying 25 points against the Rainbow Wahine, 14 in the win over Oregon and 12 in the win over TSU. She has been coming in off the bench ever since. Watkins is averaging 17.3 ppg off the bench.
Starting at the five is like the Sports Illustrated curse. Sarah Watkins was in foul trouble and handed the starting baton to Jhasmine Bowen against Hawai’i and Bowen fouled out of the game with seven points and five boards. Bowen settled in with 14 points in 22 minutes against Oregon.
SO...WHO SHOULD I GUARD?
As the season started, Calli Berna and Sarah Watkins were the players with targets on their backs. Berna stepped up with career numbers in the opener and Watkins was in double figures at Tulsa. Williams has been good in both games and Keira Peak and Kelsey Hatcher were unexpected scorers at Tulsa. Jhasmin Bowen, who had limited minutes as a freshman, had a double-double against Jackson State and has started the last two games. Tom Collen has said Arkansas has to find its identity and right now, opponents won’t know who will step up next.
ARKANSAS RANKS SECOND IN THE NATION
The Razorbacks begin the week ranked second in the nation in turnovers per game. Arkansas is averaging 11.9 turnovers per game through the eight contests. The Razorbacks trail Loyola Chicago with 11.8 this week.
GOOD IN ASSIST TURNOVER RATIO TOO
As a result of low turnovers, Arkansas ranks sixth in the country in assist turnover ratio this week with a 1.36 mark. This figure is calculated by dividing a teams assists (129) by it’s turnovers (95). UConn is first in the nation with a 1.89 turnover ratio (151/80)
ARKANSAS AGAINST THE WORLD
The Razorbacks currently rank ninth in the NCAA in turnover margin (8.5). Arkansas is 14th in three-point field goal defense (20.9), 21st in win-loss percentage (87.5), 25th in scoring offense (76.1), 29th in scoring margin (17.8) and 39th in assists per game (16.1).
ARKANSAS INDIVIDUALS IN THE NCAA STATS
Keira Peak ranks 61st in the NCAA in field goal percentage (52.3) and 128th in points per game (16.0). Calli Berna ranks 57th in assists per game (5,0), 110th in steals per game (2.63), and 25th in assist/turnover ratio (2.5). Sarah Watkins ranks 100th in free throw percentage (82.9).
PEAK IS FOURTH IN THE SEC
Junior Keira Peak is fourth in the SEC this week in scoring. The Clyatteville, Ga., native averages 16.0 points per game. Peak has scored 128 -- 46 field goals, 12 threes and 24 free throws -- in the first eight games. Peak ranks sixth in the SEC in field goal percentage hitting 52.3 percent of her shots.
BERNA HELPS OUT
Sophomore Calli Berna ranks third in the SEC in assists this week. The Fayetteville, Ark., native averages 5.0 assists per game with 40 through the first eight games.
Berna is also a bit of a thief. She ranks fifth in the SEC in steals averaging 2.6 steals per game with 21 this year.
Senior Sarah Watkins ranks fourth in the SEC this week in free throw percentage. The Germantown, Tenn., native is shooting 83.9 percent from the line making 26 of 31 this year.
ARKANSAS IS SHOOTING WELL
This week, Arkansas ranks fourth in the SEC in scoring offense. The Razorbacks average 76.1 points per game scoring 609 points this season.
Conversely, Arkansas is also holding opponents to low numbers. The Razorbacks rank fifth in the SEC allowing just 58.5 ppg through the first eight games. That differential gives Arkansas a +17.6 scoring margin, ranking fifth as well.
FREE SHOTS GOOD FOR ARKANSAS
The Razorbacks rank fourth as a team in free throw percentage hitting 70.9 percent of its bonus shots. Arkansas is 112-158 on the season and trails Mississippi State (76.5) who leads the SEC. Tennessee and Vanderbilt are also ahead of Arkansas.
Arkansas is fourth in the SEC in field goal percentage. The Razorbacks are hitting 42.3 percent from the floor on 223-527 shooting. Tennessee leads the league with a 46.5 mark.
DON’T SHOOT THE THREE IN HERE
The Razorbacks are tough defenders against the three point shot. They lead the SEC allowing just 20.9 percent of shots from beyond the arc. Arkansas has allowed 27 of 129 attempts this year.
GIVE ME A HAND
Arkansas ranks fifth in the SEC in assists with 129 in seven games for a 16.2 assist per game average. Tennessee leads the SEC with 17.4 apg. Five SEC teams average more than 16 assists per game this year.
Arkansas leads the SEC in assist/turnover ratio this week. The Razorbacks check in with a 1.4 a/t ratio with 129 assists and 95 turnovers. The Razorbacks also rank fourth in the SEC in turnover margin.
Kansas is a perfect 7-0 this year. It is their third consecutive 7-0 start.
Carolyn Davis and Angel Goodrich are both on the watch lists for the Wade Trophy, the Wooden Award and the Naismith Award, as two of the top players in the nation.
Goodrich is also one of 30 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award.
Carolyn Davis leads the team with 16.6 ppg and is third with 5.3 rpg this year
Tania Jackson is the leading rebounder with 7.1 rpg this season
Look for a lot of passing in the game. Kansas averages 17.3 assists per game while holding opponents to 8.6
LUNCH WITH TOM COLLEN
Fans are invited to join Razorback head coach Tom Collen for monthly luncheons at the Clarion Inn in Fayetteville again this year. The 2012-13 season marks the eighth year the event has taken place at the Clarion and it is believed to be the 19th year that head coaches and student-athletes have taken part in mid-day events.
The price for this year’s luncheon is $12 and the dates are Nov. 12, Dec. 10, Jan. 14, Feb. 11 and March 11. The event begins at 11:30 a.m. Contact the Razorback marketing office for more information.
THE FRIENDLY CONFINES OF BUD WALTON ARENA
Arkansas is 204-76 in 20 seasons in Bud Walton Arena including a 3-0 mark this year. Arkansas has had 18 winning seasons at Bud including 13 seasons with double figure wins. Arkansas has had 14 wins in a single season at Bud twice including the team’s 14-2 mark last year. The Razorbacks set a record with a 15-4 mark in Bud Walton in the 1998-99 season.
RAZORBACKS ON TV
The Razorbacks have seven regular season games scheduled for television this season. Arkansas hosts Kansas, Dec. 6 and Missouri Feb. 17 in games that air on COX in a regional market. The Razorbacks have three scheduled appearances on the FOX Sports Network, first Jan. 6 against Texas A&M, then at Mississippi State Feb. 3, and finally at Georgia Feb. 21. Arkansas moves to the SEC Network Feb. 24, hosting Tennessee and finally appears on Sun Sports Feb. 28 at Florida. All of the SEC Tournament games will also be televised.
100 RAZORBACK WINS
Head coach Tom Collen is in his sixth season as the Razorbacks’ head coach and has a 95-66 record in his first five years. Collen reached his 100th win at Arkansas against Pepperdine becoming the third coach in program history to do so joining Gary Blair (198-120, 10 years) and John Sutherland (174-88, 9 years). He is 7-1 this season for a 100-67 record.
WATKINS PICKED BY COACHES; ARKANSAS NINTH
University of Arkansas senior Sarah Watkins earned a first-team nod and the Razorbacks were selected ninth in the Southeastern Conference Coaches Preseason Poll. Watkins, who was a preseason second-team pick by the league’s media, was a second-team honoree last year for the Razorbacks.
As a team, the Razorbacks returned to the NCAA Tournament last year, reaching the postseason for the third time in five seasons under Collen. Arkansas set program records for most SEC wins, most consecutive SEC wins and for the team’s finish, a tie for fourth last year.
ABOUT LAST YEAR
The University of Arkansas women’s basketball team is coming off its most successful season under head coach Tom Collen. In fact, they are coming off one of the most successful years since joining the Southeastern Conference. Eight consecutive SEC wins, a program-best tie for fourth place in the standings, two rounds deep into the SEC Tournament matched by a second round appearance at the NCAA Tournament are just a few of highlights.
ABOUT THE SCHEDULE
Arkansas’ schedule will challenge them early and often, long before the start of the always tough SEC schedule. The Razorbacks face 11 teams who participated in the postseason a year ago and opens with five of the first six games on the road.
“We have a pretty challenging schedule in the preseason for such an inexperienced team so it would help to get off to a good start,” Collen said. “Our games early at Tulsa and ORU will be good tests. We will need to play like a veteran team to win on the road. It’s an extended road trip to play in Hawai’i against national power Oklahoma then PAC-12 member Oregon. Throw in a game at host Hawai’i and it’s a tough start to the season. Our toughest challenge may be Sweet Sixteen participant Kansas at home. If we can survive all that with our confidence in tact, we might be ready for the SEC.”
The SEC is always tough and this year the Razorbacks welcome Missouri and Texas A&M to the family. Although the schedule remains at 16 games, the road to one of the top spots in the conference definitely got tougher.