FAYETTEVILE, Ark. – Junior guard Charity Ford becomes the first University of Arkansas women’s basketball player selected as the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week.
Ford came off the bench to lead the Razorbacks to a streak-breaking victory over then 15th-ranked Florida last Thursday, and scored the decisive 5-0 run at the close of a historic win over Alabama on Sunday.
“I’m thrilled that Charity is getting the recognition that she’s worked so hard this year to achieve,” UA women’s basketball coach Tom Collen said. “She has taken a special role on this team, and she’s worked extremely hard to come back from an injury.”
A candidate for the SEC Sixth Player of the Year, Ford has come off the bench all season for the Razorbacks, but missed five games at midseason with a stress fracture in her leg. She has played all season with a shoulder injury.
“She’s got to be one of the toughest players I’ve seen,” Collen said. “We asked her this year to be our top player off the bench, and she has been vital to our team’s success as that sixth player.”
A starter her first two years at Arkansas, Ford made way in the starting five for two freshman guards, but has played in 23 of the Razorbacks’ 28 games.
Averaging 7.6 ppg and 2.3 rpg for the full season, Ford is scoring 9.8 ppg against SEC opponents and has a string of double-digit games that coincide with Arkansas’ current five-game winning streak.
Ford is the first overall player of the week winner for the Razorbacks. Freshman guard Ceira Ricketts has five Freshman of the Week honors this season. The last player of the week recipient for the Razorbacks was future WNBA draft pick Lauren Ervin.
Ford scored 19 points to lead Arkansas over Florida, 83-76, a win that snapped a 21-game losing streak to Associated Press Top 25 teams. The win was also the first over a ranked SEC opponent since 2001.
Ford’s personal five-point burst broke the final tie of the game with Alabama, and gave Arkansas the lead for good on Sunday. She finished with 14 points in the game.
The Razorbacks are open on Thursday, then close the 2008-09 regular season at Auburn on Sunday at 2 p.m.