FAYETTEVILLE — No one said @RazorbackWBB’s final push for the NCAA Tournament would be easy. And it won’t be. It did, however, start out on the right foot with a 57-53 road upset of then No. 19 LSU. The stretch run continues tonight with a few familiar components: away from home against a Top 25 program.
Arkansas travels to No. 17 Texas A&M to take on a team that’s 11-3 in conference. The Aggies’ SEC losses are to Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky. All three are in the top half of the standings. Now add in that A&M has only lost two games at Reed Arena all year. Once again, the cards are stacked against the Hogs.
That’s nothing new, though. It’s not like the Razorbacks were favored at LSU. So, how can Arkansas repeat that performance?
– Find a way to hit contested threes. Don’t expect 31 attempts like last game, either. Texas A&M defends the arc as well as anyone in the country and their man-to-man defense is punishing. That said, Arkansas will need shooters like Jessica Jackson and McKenzie Adams to ring up some triples. A few from Bria Pitts would hurt, either.
– “Peak” at the right time. Head coach Tom Collen says he thinks senior Keira Peak is playing her best basketball right now. She’s coming off her first double-double of the season and has been tenacious on defense and rebounding. Simply put, the Hogs need that kind of effort again, especially when Arkansas doesn’t have the ball.
– Get around screens to contest jumpers. Texas A&M is a team that loves outside shots. While the Aggies don’t make threes (only averaging one over the last five games), their midrange game is as strong as any. Leave leading scorers Courtney Williams and Courtney Walker open and it could be a long night.
Jeri and I will join you for the Razorback Courtside Show at 6:45 P.M. this evening. We’ll preview the matchup and have an exclusive pregame conversation with Coach Collen, leading up to a 7 P.M. tipoff between Arkansas and No. 17 Texas A&M.
Here are our affiliates to tune in: KOSM-FM 92.1 in Northwest Arkansas; KURM-AM 790 in Rogers; KFPW-FM 94.5 and 1230 AM in Fort Smith; and KABZ-FM 103.7 in Little Rock.
In the words of the legendary Charles Osgood, “I’ll see you on the radio.”