FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. Freshman Ceira Ricketts was named Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week for the second week in a row and the third time this season.
The 5-9 guard from Louisville, Ky., turned in a week of outstanding performances, including 22 points and nine rebounds versus then 10th-ranked Tennessee and 13 points as the leading starter in scoring for Arkansas’ first win of the SEC season at Miss State.
Ricketts was last week’s freshman after pulling a triple-double against the undefeated Auburn Tigers.
“The amazing thing is that she’s not just playing like a SEC Freshman of the Year candidate,” UA head coach Tom Collen said. “She’s playing like a first-team All-SEC selection.”
This past week, Ricketts averaged 18.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 4.5 apg and 3.5 steals.
“She has risen to the occasion and elevated her game since she started SEC play,” Collen said.
Against Tennessee, Ricketts scored 22 points, which is the most points scored by an Arkansas freshman against the Lady Vols. Kimberly Wilson had 21 her freshman season in 1994. Ricketts just missed the double-double by a rebound with nine, which is her second near-miss of the year.
Ricketts also led all players in the Tennessee game with six assists and three steals versus the Lady Vols.
She backed it up with 13 points, four rebounds, four steals and three assists as the top-scoring starter in Arkansas’ first SEC win of the season at Miss State.
“We knew she had been improving with every game, we just didn’t know until we got into the SEC just how good she would be,” Collen said.
The 22-point effort versus the Lady Vols ties her career high, set against Big 12 member Missouri during non-conference play.
Ricketts is averaging 13.6 ppg for the full season, and 13.4 ppg against SEC opponents. Since the start of conference play, Ricketts has seen her rebounding average rise from 6.4 rpg to 6.6 rpg and her assists increase from 3.4 per game to 4.6 per game.
She now becomes the first Arkansas women’s basketball player to receive three weekly honors in the same season. Ricketts was freshman of the week for the week of Nov. 26, 2008, which was the second week of the season.