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Welcome back to the 2010-11 women’s basketball blog. Arkansas is into the Southeastern Conference schedule after an impressive run through the non-conference season. Here are a couple of notes about what’s been going on.
BIG WINSThe Razorbacks (14-1, 2-1 SEC) notched a pair of wins this week. Arkansas opened with a win over No. 10 Kentucky in Bud Walton Arena and followed up with a road victory at Mississippi State in a hard-fought battle. The wins improve Arkansas to 14-1 overall and 2-1 in the SEC.
RAZORBACKS DOWN RANKED OPPONENTSArkansas has wins over No. 12 Oklahoma and No. 10 Kentucky this year. It is the first time under head coach Tom Collen the Razorbacks have multiple victories over ranked teams. The wins are just the second and third wins over ranked opponents in Collens’ tenure at Arkansas as the head coach (No. 15 Florida, 2-19-09, 83-74).
The last time the Razorbacks defeated at least two ranked teams in the same year was the 2005-06 season. Arkansas got a 52-51 overtime win over No. 20 Vanderbilt and defeated No. 24 Florida, 69-63.
THE STREAKThe Razorbacks opened the season 12-0 under head coach Tom Collen but the streak ended with a loss at Florida to start SEC play. The run was the second time in Collen’s four years at Arkansas that the Razorbacks have started with at least 12 wins. Arkansas opened 15-0 in 2007-08, Collen’s first year. The 12-0 start is the second-best in program history.
BLOCK PARTYArkansas is blocking shots well this year. Led by sophomore sensation Sarah Watkins, Arkansas has out-blocked opponents 75-43 this year. Arkansas posted a season-best 11 blocked shots against No. 10 Kentucky Thursday with Watkins getting a career-best six blocks in the game. Both numbers (11 and 6) are one shy of the Arkansas team and individual record in an SEC game.
Watkins is well on her way to eclipsing her block total from a year ago. She posted 40 blocks in her freshman season and enters the Mississippi State game with 30 this year. Her six blocks against No. 10 Kentucky is a sophomore class single game record. The sophomore season record is 53 held by Shameka Christon.
WELCOME TO THE POLLArkansas broke into both the Associated Press and USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches Polls in Week 6. The Razorbacks checked in at No. 25 in both polls. Arkansas enters the Georgia game ranked No. 20 in the AP and the Coaches Poll is not out yet (Tuesday morning). Arkansas’ return to the AP Poll is the programs first since the 2007-08 season. That year, Collen guided the Razorbacks to a 15-0 start, the best start in Arkansas history. The Razorbacks jumped into the USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches Poll on Christmas day and moved into the AP Poll at No. 25 in week nine just before the start of SEC play. Arkansas remained in the poll moving up to No. 20 the following week but a pair of losses at No. 11 LSU and at Ole Miss saw the Razorbacks slip from the rankings.
The highest Arkansas has been ranked under current head coach Tom Collen is No. 20 during his first season (2007-08).
The highest Arkansas has ever been ranked is No. 7 during the 1995-96 season. The Razorbacks were No. 7 when they faced Southwest Missouri State Dec. 10, 1995. They have been ranked as high as eighth several times.
ARKANSAS IN JANUARY
The Razorbacks are 160-128 (.555) all-time in the month of January.
Also in January-
ON EPIPHANY (Jan.6) — The Razorbacks are 6-5 all-time on Epiphany including the win over Kentucky. Epiphany is defined by Wikipedia as "a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ."
ON MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY (Traditionally Jan. 15) – Arkansas is 3-2. The Razorbacks don’t play Jan. 15, this year.
ON AUSTRALIA DAY (Jan. 26) – Arkansas is 5-4. The Razorbacks don’t play Jan. 26, but senior Skye Rees is from Australia.
ON SUPER BOWL SUNDAY (varies) – Arkansas is IV-X. This year, the Super Bowl is scheduled for Feb. 6. Arkansas hosts South Carolina in a game televised by ESPNU from Bud Walton Arena.
Arkansas women’s basketball camps are just around the corner. Check out the camp’s Facebook page for more information: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=103345626368812&ref=mf
Arkansas head coach Tom Collen was featured on a recent SEC blog. Read it here: http://www.secdigitalnetwork.com/NEWS/tabid/473/Article/218989/sec-12-to-1-2-tom-collen-and-recruiting.aspx