Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Logan J. Webster)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - The University of Arkansas women's basketball team travels to Gainesville, Fla., this week for a matchup Thursday night against the University of Florida. The Razorbacks are looking to conclude the regular season on a strong note in advance of the SEC Tournament.
"We're going to try and finish out the season with two wins these next two games," senior Sarah Watkins said. "We know we're a good basketball team and can compete with anybody. We're going to really buckle down now."
Arkansas is eager to snap a two game losing streak that followed consecutive wins. The Razorbacks are 17-10, 5-9 in the SEC, and seven of their 10 losses have come to ranked opponents. Six of their losses have been by four points or less, as UA has continually gone down to the wire against some top opponents. The test for the Razorbacks will now be to get over the hump and finish conference play strong.
"We're in a position where we need to win both of these games to accomplish our goals," Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. "We go one game at a time. Florida is an interesting team to face. We've always had great rivalries with them, and beat them last year in overtime. They're very similar to us, play a lot of good teams close. It's a pretty even matchup of two teams in similar situations."
This will be the last week of conference play for the Razorback seniors. The four seniors include leading scorer Sarah Watkins (12.5 points per game) and the second leading scorer and leading rebounder Quistelle Williams (9.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game). The senior class has been a large part of the team's success this season.
"Our seniors have helped get this program headed in the right direction," Collen explained. "We could end up with 20 wins three years in a row, and they've been a big part of that. It's been a different story for all of them, but they've all contributed. It's a determined group, and they're awfully good players."
Florida is 16-12, and 5-9 in the SEC. They are led by Jaterra Bonds who averages 12.2 points per game, and is followed by Jennifer George at 12.0 points per game and a team high 8.0 rebounds per game.
Arkansas is 8-20 all-time against Florida and 2-6 in the six seasons that Arkansas has been led by Collen and the Gators coached by Amanda Butler. The game begins at 6 p.m. (CST), is televised on SUN Sports, and is also available on Razorvision to premium subscribers.