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Ricketts leads Arkansas into action with UTA

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Ricketts leads Arkansas into action with UTA

FAYETTEVILLE — University of Arkansas women’s basketball coach Tom Collen and the Razorbacks host Texas-Arlington in the 2011-12 home opener at Bud Walton Arena Wednesday, Nov. 16. Tip is scheduled for 11 a.m. as part of the elementary day promotion. The Razorbacks (2-1) are coming off a successful opening weekend after picking up wins over South Florida and No. 13 Florida State at the WBI Tip Off Classic. Senior C’eira Ricketts earned tournament MVP honors while junior Sarah Watkins was selected to the all-tournament team. Arkansas’ home opener pits them against a Maverick team that is 0-2 on the year with losses to North Texas and George Washington. They are a young team who is still trying to find its offense this year. “UTA is pretty young right now,” Collen said. “We went down there last year and really struggled with them and a lot of that was to their credit. They almost ambushed us down there and they did a great job. They graduated quite a few good players so they are young and they’re off to a 0-2 start. They’re trying to install a complete different offense from what they were in last year so I think it’s going to take them some time to get that in place.” Ricketts was one of the players who stood out for Arkansas despite a very balanced team effort in all three games to open the year. She earned Southeastern Conference Player of the Week honors after her solid efforts that included being one point shy of tying her career-best scoring 28 points in a win over South Florida. She was also close to a triple double with nine rebounds and eight steals in the game. For the weekend, Ricketts scored 46 points, had 17 rebounds, 12 assists and 11 steals in three games played back-to-back-to-back. “C’eria is a great player for our team,” Collen said. “When she is playing well, her presence on the floor makes us all better. We need her to be a leader for us.” In addition to Ricketts, Arkansas got hard-nosed play out of Watkins who averaged 13.3 ppg and 5.3 rpg while having her hands full on the inside with much bigger post opponents. “Sarah was tough inside,” Collen said. “It was hard out there but the kind of play she faced will be a lot like what she’ll see in the SEC.” Senior Lyndsay Harris also averaged in double figures for the weekend despite playing limited minutes. Harris posted 11.7 ppg and led the team with eight three-pointers shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc. In addition to being the home opener for Arkansas, Wednesday’s game has the added benefit of being elementary day, a game to which the Razorbacks have invited several area elementary schools to attend as a field trip. More than 3000 students from area schools are expected to attend. Tickets for Wednesday’s game are available on-line at ArkansasRazorbacks.com or by calling the Razorback Ticket Center at 575-5151. Fans attending the morning contest are encouraged to park in Lot 56 near Martin Luther King Boulevard.



Sports Category : Basketball (W)