Big Road Test Awaits
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A week’s break from competition ends for the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team with a trip to No. 17 Kentucky for a Sunday match-up in Lexington.
The Razorbacks (16-9, 5-6 SEC) are looking to get back into the win column as the season winds down but they face an uphill battle in Southeastern Conference action. The Wildcats (20-5, 7-4 SEC) are 13-2 at home this season and a currently in fifth place in the league standings – hoping to move up into one of the top four spots to earn a double-bye in the conference tournament.
Arkansas has been on a steady climb over the last two seasons under the direction of head coach Mike Neighbors. The Razorbacks already have more overall and SEC wins that in the last two seasons and are ahead of Neighbors’ rebuilding schedule.
That improvement has been made possible by the blending of current players with the influx of new shooters on the team – the most noticeable of which is redshirt sophomore Chelsea Dungee.
Dungee has been both solid and flashy in her first season on the court with the Razorbacks. She has averaged double figures for the entire season and has posted double-digit point totals in 22 of Arkansas’ 25 games. If that wasn’t impressive enough, the Oklahoma native has scored 20 or more points 12 times, 30 or more points twice and set a program record in an SEC game with a 41-point effort against Auburn last week.
But Dungee doesn’t have to do it alone. Seniors Malica Monk, Bailey Zimmerman and Raven Northcross-Baker are also big keys to the team’s success. Monk also averages double figures and has scored in double figures in 19 games this year. More impressive is her ability to handle the ball. The North Little Rock native has played over 700 minutes and turns the ball over just 1.8 times per game ranking among the SEC and NCAA Division 1 leaders.
The clock is ticking on the season with just five regular season games remaining. Arkansas has back-to-back road contests first at Kentucky followed by a rematch at Georgia. The Razorbacks host Ole Miss Feb. 24, and Missouri Feb. 28 and travel to Texas A&M March 3 before beginning postseason play.
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