FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Monday night starts another three-game week for the Arkansas Razorback women’s basketball team with Western Illinois at Bud Walton Arena at 7 p.m. The game will video stream live for RazorVision members at ArkansasRazorbacks.com and broadcast on women’s basketball affiliates of the Razorback Sports Network.
A pair of returning starters lead the Westerwinds for Coach Leslie Crane. Senior Amanda Walker is the team’s only double-digit scorer with 11.6 ppg. Western Illinois has pretty balanced scoring, but WIU’s pace is quite different from Arkansas’. The Westerwinds have already dropped their conference opener, losing at Indiana-Purdue at Indianapolis back on Dec. 6.
Other notables for WIU include Missouri State transfer Ashley Lord stepped into the starting lineup for her first game at Western and pulled down 15 boards in her debut. The 6-4 center gives WIU a height advantage over Arkansas. The WIU game is another homecoming for a former Arkansas prepster as Fairfield Bay’s Katie Horsman is a freshman for WIU.
This is only the second meeting with WIU, but there’s a direct link to the current staff. Razorback head coach Tom Collen was an assistant coach when the Westerwinds last blew into Fayetteville. Arkansas took a 100-49 win over WIU back in 1996-97.
Both teams’ last games were Dec. 21, and both dropped their last outings.
The game looks to be a battle of pace as Arkansas will look to up the tempo, WIU seeks to slow it. Possessions and shots are a good indicator. In Arkansas first 12 games, the two teams have combined to average 119 shots per game. For the Westerwinds in their first 11, it is only 105 shots per game.
For Arkansas, a pair of Razorbacks look for career highs. Whitney Jones has made a career rebounding against Missouri — literally. Last year, Jones had a career-high 12 at Columbia. This year, Jones pulled down a new career best with 14 at home to go with nine points.
Ceira Ricketts scored 22 points to lead Arkansas against Missouri, and the freshman was perfect in her opening 11 shots of the game — 6-of-6 from the field (including a three-pointer) and 5-of-5 at the line. Ricketts closed with 8-of-11 from the field, and her 22 points was a second straight career high game. The freshman guard had 19 against Dartmouth.
Charity Ford missed the game with Missouri, and did not dress after her leg injury against Dartmouth. As dramatic as it appeared when Ford collided with a Dartmouth player and landed awkwardly on her left leg, the junior guard got a clean bill of health at the doctors on Friday. Her status remains day-to-day as the team returns from the break. She managed to practice for a short period on Saturday and Sunday.