FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Arkansas Razorback women’s basketball team hits the road for an old Southwest Conference showdown with Texas Tech on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Tech Coach Kristy Curry returns four of five starters from last year’s encounter in Fayetteville. Dominic Seals leads the inside power for the Lady Raiders with 13.3 ppg and 7.8 rpg while junior Jordan Murphree is the double-digit outside scorer at 10.5 ppg. Texas Tech’s new starter is a power player inside, Kierra Mallard with 7.9 ppg and a team second 6.2 rpg. Freshman Jordan Barncastle has come in as the most accurate player, hitting over 50 percent from the field. The Lady Raiders also pick up a pair of key newcomers — Timila Martin and Maddy Brown — on the perimeter.
The game with Texas Tech is live on Cox Sports Television as a part of the Razorback Sports Properties arrangement with Cox Cable. Check local channels for CST. The Razorbacks’ home game with Ole Miss will also be aired as a part of the CST package on Feb. 14. Razorbacks’ director of new media, Blair Cartwright, will provide the play-by-play and Arkansas women’s basketball director of operations Amber Shirey has the color commentary.
Texas Tech is 8-0 at home this season; 0-4 away from the United Spirt Arena.
Outside of Tennessee, the Razorbacks face the greatest potential of a five-figure crowd at Texas Tech. The Lady Raiders had 10K for their last game, a 72-62 win over UCLA, and 9400 for a pre-Christmas game with Sacramento State. Texas Tech is averaging 8,434 so far in eight non-conference games this season.
The game tips off at the traditional Southwest Conference 2 p.m. Saturday for a women’s game. Even more so for Texas Tech, who’ll face Arkansas Saturday then open Big XII action with Texas the following weekend.
Of the Tech players on last year’s stat sheet, only one senior starter, 6-3 Erin Myrick, is missing, and the majority of the Lady Raiders return. Same can’t be said for Arkansas. Whitney Jones and Ayana Brereton are the only starters back (with Charity Ford out injured). While Shanita Arnold, Brittney Richardson and Ashlea Williams played in the game off the bench, they had a combined nine points and 26 minutes.
There are eleven players who have stats for the Lady Raiders, and every one of them has made at least one start this season. In fact, none of the Lady Raiders have started all 12 games — Dominic Seals comes the closest with 11 of 12.
The two teams have similar shooting percentages, similar assist and assist-to-turnover numbers, close rebound and turnover margins.
Arkansas has edges on steals, blocks and defensive field goal and three-point percentages. The key to the game lies in Arkansas’ ability to use its multiple defensive front to frustrate Texas Tech’s methodical offense.
This is another fast turn week for the Razorbacks with three games in six days, plus a travel date. As a result, Coach Tom Collen shut down the full court press and parked several key players early with Stetson on New Year’s Eve. Whitney Jones had one of her lowest point production games with eight points, but she only played 14 minutes. Shanita Arnold went 29 minutes, but after her quick 15 point first half went to the bench most of the second. Only freshman Lyndsay Harris clocked over 30 minutes (32) versus Stetson.
The Tech game ends the non-conference part of the schedule, with the Southeastern Conference opener for Arkansas next Thursday, Jan. 8, with LSU.