Razorbacks Continue Winning Streak
The Arkansas women’s basketball team defeated the Pepperdine University Waves 64-39 Sunday to advance to 7-1 on the season.
This marked the 100th win for fifth-year head coach Tom Collen at Arkansas.
“I’m definitely proud of it,” Collen said of his 100th win. “But it means we’re averaging about 19 wins per season and to me, that’s not good enough yet. But we are getting this program turned around in the right direction.”
Arkansas jumped out to a 5-0 lead only a minute into the game Sunday and did not trail during the entire contest.
The Waves played the Razorbacks close for most of the first half. Arkansas did not develop a double-digit lead until very late in half when they went up 27-17 on a turnover and fast break from Dominique Wilson.
The Razorbacks were 10 for 27 from the field in the first half and only one for nine from 3-point range. The Waves were seven for 26 from the field and three for 10 from 3-point range.
Sarah Watkins and Keira Peak led the Razorbacks in scoring in the first half, accounting for eight points each for the Hogs. Peak also led the team in rebounding that half with six rebounds. The Razorbacks were up 29-19 at halftime.
Watkins has been starting the game on the bench lately in order to keep her out of early foul trouble.
“I’m no coaching genius, but starting Sarah on the bench might be one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made,” Collen said. “It’s been keeping her from getting those early fouls that officials love to call on post players.”
Collen said he was disappointed in the team’s overall rebounding, but said it got better in the second half.
The Hogs started out the second half strongly. Five minutes into the half, the Hogs had added 10 points to their score and the Waves only had one basket in the half.
The Razorbacks just kept on increasing their lead. The Waves called a time-out with 11 minutes left in the game as Arkansas had gone up 45-25 and had their first 20-point lead of the game.
The Razorbacks never looked back from there and only continued to build upon their lead. The pace of the game slowed as the Razorbacks increased their lead.
Ten players received playing time for the Razorbacks. Collen said it was important for some of the ones who don’t play as much to see how crucial they are going to be going into Southeastern Conference play.
The game ended with a final score of 64-39.
“Defense is our biggest thing” said Watkins, who had 18 points off the bench. “It’s what we focus on more than anything and we played well defensively.”
“We got some good turnovers and did what we had to do,” junior Keira Peak said.
“Pepperdine missed some shots, but overall, it was our defense that really shut them down, especially in the second half,” Collen said.
One of the most surprising statistics of the game was that the Razorbacks only made one of the 12 shots they took from beyond the arc.
“We should be a better 3-point shooting team,” Collen said. “I want them to have more patience with those shots.”
The Pepperdine Waves came all the way from Malibu, Calif., to be handed their sixth loss of the season and drop their record to 2-6.
Arkansas’ only loss so far this season was a three-point loss to No. 13 Oklahoma in the Hawaii Tournament in November.
Next up the Razorbacks will face the Kansas Jayhawks at 7 p.m. Thursday in Bud Walton Arena.