FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas women’s basketball team will host Tulane on Sunday, matching up against the Green Wave in the second round of the WNIT. The Razorbacks (20-12, 6-10 SEC) will tip off against Tulane (23-8, 11-5 CUSA) at 2 p.m. in Bud Walton Arena.
"We’ve played well in Bud Walton Arena this season," Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. "We have a confort level here, and we shoot the ball well here. It’s an advantage for us. We still have to earn every point we get and carry it through the game."The Razorbacks advanced to the second round by defeating Memphis in the first round of the WNIT Thursday 67-57. Arkansas had three players score in double figures, led by Dominique Wilson with 15 points, and followed by Calli Berna and Quistelle Williams with 14 and 12 points respectively. Williams also had 11 rebounds to record her sixth double-double of the season.Sophomore Calli Berna has been key for Arkansas this year, working as the Razorbacks’ primary ballhandler. She has 204 assists this year, just one assist shy of tying the Arkansas all-time record for assists in a single season, set by Amy Wright with 205 in 2001-02. Berna also ranks 12th and climbing in the career assists category with 292 for her career.
"Our main thing right now is to focus on Tulane," Berna said. "We need to figure out how they play, and carry our practice out to the game. They are very competitive, and they play very hard, so we’re going to have to match that."Arkansas has won 20 games for the third consecutive season. With the win on Thursday, they improve to 6-0 all-time in WNIT first round games, and 12-1 in WNIT games in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks are 14-4 all-time in the WNIT, including winning the 1999 championship. Coach Collen, who has taken Arkansas to the postseason in four of his six seasons at the helm, is coaching in the WNIT for the fifth time in his career. Tulane is in the postseason for the fourth consecutive year and the 15th time overall. This is their fifth consecutive appearance in the WNIT. They feature three players averaging in double digits, led by Whitney Bibbins at 11.5 points per game, and followed by Olivia Grayson (10.2 ppg) and Danielle Blagg (10.1 ppg)."I’ve coached against Tulane many times in my career," Collen said. "They are well coached and take care of the ball well. They execute well and we have to be prepared for that. It’s a game that we’re looking forward to."