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Collen, Razorbacks travel to MTSU

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Collen, Razorbacks travel to MTSU

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Good post defense and taking the crowd out of the game will be keys for Tom Collen and the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team as they travel to Middle Tennessee State for a non-conference match-up Saturday at 7 p.m. Arkansas (5-1) has won five in a row and is making just the second trip away from Bud Walton for the entire semester. The challenge of a tough, scrappy, pressing team in Middle Tennessee State (4-3) combined with 3,000-plus fans in the gym is on the Razorbacks’ minds. “We know they want to press us,” junior Sarah Watkins said. “We have to handle the pressure and shut down Kortni Jones. We have been working on controlling their post players and the number of touches they get.” Jones leads MTSU this year as one of three players averaging double figures. Jones is playing about 39 minutes a game with 15.7 ppg. Ebony Rowe leads the team with 10.0 rpg and 14.0 ppg followed by Icelyn Elie with 12.9 ppg and 7.9 rpg in a balanced attack for the Blue Raiders. “We are excited about the opportunity to go in there and play this team,” Collen said. “They are very difficult to beat in their own gym and we need to face teams like this to prepare for the SEC. They’ll be prepared for us but we like to play on the road and the big environments have been good for us. We enjoy playing in front of the crowds and I like the challenge that lies ahead.” Arkansas counters with senior C’eira Ricketts who leads the team with 12.0 ppg and grabs 5.7 rpg this year. Ricketts scored 28 in a neutral floor win over South Florida and has been a solid leader on the court for Arkansas. The Louisville, Ky., native continues to move up in several statistical categories but it is her ability to get steals that has been impactful for Arkansas this year. Senior Lyndsay Harris checks in with 11.3 ppg this year and is averaging just over 20 minutes a game despite recovering from a knee injury. Watkins checks in with 9.8 ppg and senior Ashley Daniels leads the team with 7.0 rpg as Arkansas also uses a balanced attack in games. “We know they are going to press us hard,” Collen said. “We have to take care of the basketball and play up tempo. They are going to force us to dribble attack and we need to get to the free throw line and make shots.” Saturday’s game is available on ESPN3.com beginning at 7 p.m. central. Arkansas returns home hosting five non-conference games in December beginning with Stephen F. Austin Dec. 6.



Sports Category : Basketball (W)