FAYETTEVILLE – After a week off to recover from a thrilling triple overtime victory at Alabama, the Arkansas women’s basketball team hosts Missouri on Sunday in this year’s pink game. The Razorbacks (16-8, 4-7 SEC) will be facing the Tigers for the second time this year, the first conference team they will face a second time. The last time these teams met, Arkansas traveled to Columbia, Mo. and came away with a 58-50 victory, led by a career high 23 points by senior Erin Gatling
The Razorbacks are coming off consecutive overtime games for only the second time in program history, and the first time in 16 years. After falling to Kentucky in overtime on Feb. 7, Arkansas played a school record three overtimes in a 90-81 defeat of the Crimson Tide. Freshman Dominique Wilson
set new career highs in each game, scoring 17 points against the Wildcats and bettering that with 19 points against Alabama, while Jhasmin Bowen
also had a career high 19 points against the Crimson Tide. Arkansas set a school records for defensive rebounds and field goals attempted in a conference game, and had five players in double figures for the first time this season.
“This is a good chance to prove that we have improved since the last time we played Missouri,” Gatling said. “The pink game is great. It’s a great opportunity to raise awareness and it’s going to be great to play in the pink uniforms.”
Arkansas will be led into the Missouri game by a strong trio of frontcourt players. Sophomore Jhasmin Bowen
has scored double digits in three of her past five games. Senior Quistelle Williams
had her team-high fifth double-double of the season at Alabama, and is just six rebounds shy of reaching 500 for her career. Senior Sarah Watkins
, who earlier this season became the 17th player in program history to reach 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in her career, leads the team with 13.1 points per game and has scored 20 or more points four times this season.
“They are focused on the next game and excited to get back on the floor,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen
said. “It’s a pretty important game, and we need to get out there and get a win.”
Missouri enters the game 15-10 record, and are 4-7 in SEC play. The Tigers are a very strong from long distance, averaging 8.6 makes per game, although the Razorbacks held them below their season average in three point makes in their previous matchup. MU is led by Morgan Eye (13.5 points per game) and Bri Kulas (13.2 points per game). Arkansas is 6-4 all-time against the Tigers, including a 2-1 mark in Fayetteville.
“It’s certainly a key to take the three point line away from Missouri,” Collen said. “They are getting guarded tighter on the three point line, and the teams that don’t do that are getting beat by them. We need to communicate and play hard.”
Arkansas will be wearing pink uniforms on Sunday for the annual pink game to support breast cancer awareness and research.
“The pink game has gotten bigger and bigger every year. The awareness has been great. That’s really important. We’ve also been able to raise millions of dollars for cancer research, so it’s a big deal. Hopefully we can fill the gym up and turn it pink.”