FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas women’s basketball team advanced to the second round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament facing Missouri State in Springfield, Mo., Sunday, at 2 p.m.
The contest is the first between Arkansas head coach Tom Collen and Bears’ coach Nyla Milleson but it is the 24th meeting between the programs. The Razorbacks have an 18-6 series advantage.
Arkansas (20-11) is coming off a dominating win over Lamar Thursday in the first round. The Razorbacks scored a season-best 91 points and had 59 rebounds. They also posted season-highs for field goals with 35 and attempts with 74 in the win.
Missouri State (24-10) defeated Rice in the first round. The winner of the Arkansas/Missouri State game faces the winner of ORU/Tulane in the third round.
"We are excited about the opportunity to go to Missouri State," Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. "They are a very good team with a great crowd. They are a veteran and experienced team and this is the perfect opportunity to see if we can fight against a good crowd and a good team on their home floor."
Arkansas had five players in double digits in its last outing paced by sophomore Sarah Watkins with a career-high 25 points and 14 boards.
"Because it is a tournament we do have a little more motivation for the games," Waktins said. Obviously if you lose you’re done and that’s always on your mind."
"The Lamar game was a great boost for us heading into this game," added junior Ashley Daniels who also had a double-double against Lamar. "They (Lamar) were athletic and we know that Missouri State is even better. We feel confident and know that we are capable of playing and competing with anyone."
Arkansas’ approach has changed in recent games due, in part, to the loss of three-point star Lyndsay Harris. The Razorbacks have inserted freshman Chrisstasia Walter into the starting lineup and are bringing in several others, including Quistelle Williams, off the bench.
Williams has tallied double-digits in two of her last three events. Junior Julie Inman and freshman Yashira Delgado have also taken turns running the point for the Razorbacks.
"We have had to make some adjustments due to a couple injuries," Collen said. "I said when this happened that this was an opportunity for a young player to step up and I think several have."