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Razorback Roundup — Feb. 16

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Razorback Roundup — Feb. 16

RAZORBACK ROUNDUPFeb. 16, 2009BLACK HISTORY MONTH ON ArkansasRazorbacks.com: In honor of Black History Month, ArkansasRazorbacks.com will feature daily tributes during the month of February on current and former African-American student-athletes who have achieved excellence in the classroom and in athletic competition at the University of Arkansas. A different student-athlete who has graduated from the university is being featured each day with both men’s and women’s representatives from many of the Razorbacks’ 19 sport programs.BASEBALL The No. 22 Razorbacks open the season on Friday afternoon against Washington State at Baum Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. with games on Saturday and Sunday set for 1:05 starts. MEN’S BASKETBALL (13-10, 1-9) Kentucky’s Jodie Meeks set a Bud Walton Arena record with 45 points as the Wildcats topped the Razorbacks on Saturday, 79-63, in a game nationally televised by CBS. Michael Washington and Stefan Welsh had 14 points each for Arkansas while freshman Jason Henry had his first double-double with 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, and added a game-high five steals. Arkansas led 39-31 at the half at Auburn on Wednesday, but the Tigers rallied for a 75-62 victory. Welsh and freshman Rotnei Clarke scored 14 each for the Hogs. Arkansas plays host to LSU on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. and plays at South Carolina on Saturday at 6 p.m. (central). Neither game is being televised.WOMEN’S BASKETBALL (15-11, 4-7) The Razorbacks swept the week against SEC opponents for the first time since 2007 by defeating South Carolina, 58-54, and Ole Miss, 70-59, at home last week. Arkansas has won three straight SEC games with junior Charity Ford coming off the bench to score 17 to lead against Ole Miss and 10 against USC. Freshman Ceira Ricketts was named SEC Freshman of the Week last week, and was Arkansas’ other double-digit scorer in both wins. The Razorbacks are at Florida on Thursday before hosting Alabama on Sunday for Senior Day.FOOTBALL Arkansas released the 2009 football schedule Friday. The challenging slate includes games against seven bowl teams and seven games to be held inside the state. The schedule also features the first meeting with Texas A&M since the Southwest Conferernce days on Oct. 3 in Arlington, Texas. The 2009 season-opener will be held against Missouri State in Little Rock on Sept. 5. The first SEC game is the second game of the year and two weeks later on Sept. 19 against Georgia in Fayetteville. MEN’S GOLF The Razorbacks return from the off-season Feb. 23 at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate in Hawaii for their first tournament of the spring.WOMEN’S GOLF Arkansas returns to action at the LSU/Cleveland Golf Classic in Baton Rouge, La., March 13-15.GYMNASTICS (6-2, 3-1) The No. 7 Razorbacks suffered their first SEC loss of the season at No. 6 Auburn Friday. Junior Michelle Stout paced the Razorbacks and was third overall as an all-arounder at Auburn. Arkansas continues SEC action by hosting No. 3 Georgia in Barnhill Arena on Friday.MEN’S INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD Shawn Forrest in the 5,000 meters and Alain Bailey in the long jump picked up NCAA auto marks on day one of the Tyson Invitational. Alex McClary improved his provisional mark in the 800 meters. Forrest’s time of 13:37.77 is No. 3 on the Arkansas all-time list, is No. 3 on the NCAA list and leads the SEC. The time is also a personal best. Chris Bilbrew clocked a 46.93 as the second leg of the 4×400-meter relay on Friday night, a 1:49.90 in the open 800 meters on Saturday and ended the weekend with a 46.76 on Arkansas’ winning 4×400-meter relay. Bilbrew’s 800-meter time won the event, is an NCAA provisional qualifier, is a personal best and ranks fourth in the SEC and 12th in the NCAA. Also in the 800, sophomore Duncan Phillips clocked a 1:49.92 to finish second. His time is also a personal best and an NCAA provisional qualifier. He ranks fifth in the SEC and 13th in the NCAA. The highlight was the 4×400-meter relay winning the final running event of the Tyson Invitational and picking up an NCAA provisional qualifier. Freshman Marek Niit (47.53), Bilbrew (46.76), freshman Travis Nollsch (47.71) and freshman Ben Skidmore (47.50) combined for a time of 3:09.49. The quartet currently ranks fourth in the SEC and sixth in the NCAA. The provisional qualifier is the first for Arkansas in the 4×400-meter relay since the 2005 season.WOMEN’S INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD Katie Stripling tied the school record in the pole vault on day two of the Tyson Invitational. Stripling cleared 14-3.25 to win the event and tie April Steiner Bennett’s school record of 14-3.25 set in 2003. Stripling’s clearance of 14-3.25 is a season and personal best, extends her SEC lead and ranks No. 2 in the NCAA. The 4×400-meter relay picked up an NCAA provisional time. With a second-place finish, the quartet of Karen Thomas (55.60), Shelise Williams (53.46), Janine Davis (55.03) and Whitney Jones (55.44) clocked a time of 3:39.52. They currently rank third in the SEC and 11th in the NCAA. At Friday night’s invitational event, Denise Bargiachi finished third in a stacked heat of the 3,000 meters. Bargiachi clocked a time of 9:29.63 to earn a bronze finish. Her time is a personal best, ranks second in the Southeastern Conference and provisionally qualifies for the NCAA Championships in March.SOFTBALL (6-3): The Razorbacks completed weekend play at the Metrodome Classic with a 3-2 record. On its first day of competition, Arkansas dropped a 6-5 decision to Drake after a late-inning rally by the Bulldogs. In the loss, Miranda Dixon was 2-for-4 at the plate with three RBI. On day two, the Razorbacks rebounded with wins over Minnesota and Western Illinois. Against the host Gophers, Arkansas scored three first-inning runs and freshman Kelsie Vallies picked up her second win of the season in a 3-2 victory. Whitney Cloer continued her hot hitting with a pair of doubles and an RBI against Minnesota. The senior catcher entered the weekend sixth in the SEC with a .571 batting average. In the day’s second game, Jessica Bachkora knocked a two-run home run, her second of the season, and Kim Jones worked six innings in the circle to lift the Razorbacks to a 5-3 victory. Dixon came on in relief in both games to collect two saves. On the final day of the Metrodome Classic, the Razorbacks dropped a 7-0 decision to Northern Iowa, but rebounded with a five-inning, 8-0 victory over Wisconsin-Green Bay. Bachkora and freshman Jessica Robison each hit home runs in the win. It was the first career home run for Robison. Cloer (.438 BA, seven hits, four runs scored and a home run) and Dixon (two saves, one win, a home run and three RBI) were named to the Metrodome Classic All-Tournament team. Arkansas returns to action Feb. 20-22 at the FAU/FIU Strikeout Cancer Tournament in Boca Raton, Fla.SWIMMING AND DIVING (10-1, 3-1) The No. 18 Razorbacks sent four swimmers, Emily Fletcher, Maddie Fogel, Sarah Howard and Shara Sutphen, to the Missouri Grand Prix last weekend. In the first three days of the meet, the Razorbacks set three personal best times in the long course meter events. The Missouri Grand Prix wraps up Monday (today) in Columbia. This week, 22 members of the squad travel to Auburn, Ala., on Monday to prepare for the SEC Championships beginning Wednesday and wrapping up on Saturday.MEN’S TENNIS (5-2): The No. 47-ranked Hogs hosted the Razorback Invitational over the weekend, defeating Oregon, 6-1, on Friday and downing Pacific, 6-1, on Sunday. Also on Sunday, the team played Cowley County Community College, winning the dual match, 7-0. Chris Nott and partner Dmitry Lebedev posted their fifth victory of the spring and boast a 5-1 record in dual match play. No. 15 Blake Strode went 2-0 in singles as did No. 39 Matt Hogan and Dmitry Lebedev. Nott, playing in all three matches, was also undefeated in singles, posting a 3-0 record. This week, the Hogs host No. 72 Oklahoma on Friday before making the trip to Austin, Texas, to take on the No. 2 Longhorns of Texas on Sunday.WOMEN’S TENNIS (4-1): The Razorbacks are currently ranked No. 17 nationally and will be back in action on Feb. 25 when they host SMU.OLYMPIC SPORTS PRESS CONFERENCETuesday at 1 p.m. in the Barnhill Arena interview room.



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