FAYETTEVILLE -Tom Collen and the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team return to the court Sunday hosting their first ranked opponent of the year facing No. 12 Oklahoma in a 5 p.m. tip from Bud Walton Arena.
Arkansas (10-0) picked up a dominating win in their last outing with a 17-point drubbing of ORU on Thursday. Oklahoma (9-1) has won three in a row and was idle last week. The game is sponsored by Fayetteville Health and Rehab.
"This is an opportunity to show who we are," said Collen. "Oklahoma looks a lot like and SEC team and this will be a good challenge for us. We have a lot of respect for OU and our team is excited to play."
Razorback sophomore Sarah Watkins has emerged in recent games as a team leader. The Germantown, Tenn., native posted her first career double-double against ORU with a career-best 22 points and 10 boards earlier this week.
"The team is ready to play," Watkins said of the OU game. "It’s a quick turnaround but this team is capable of staying focused for this game. We know we are a good team but this game is an important one for us so that other people can see what we are capable of."
Watkins enters the game averaging 13.1 ppg and 5.9 rpg this year. She is joined by juniors Lyndsay Harris and C’eira Ricketts in double-digit averages.
Harris averages 12.6 ppg while Ricketts checks in with 12.3 ppg this year.
Collen knows that OU will challenge the Razorbacks.
"They (OU) play very fast," Collen said. "They have probably the fastest point guard in the country and it’s hard to stay between her and the basket. We have to find a way to slow her down and get back on defense. We really want to force them into a half court offense."
The Razorbacks break for the holiday following the OU game. They return on Dec. 26 for practice before hosting Furman Dec. 28, in the final game before the new year.