Collen Razorbacks open at home

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The University of Arkansas women’s basketball team begins the 2009-10 home season hosting East Tennessee State Sunday at 3 p.m. at Bud Walton Arena.

Arkansas (1-1) faces an experienced Pirates team who is also 1-1 on the year.

“We’re excited to be a home,” Collen said. “ETSU is a great opponent, probably the best we’ve seen this season. They are a veteran team that went to the NCAA Tournament last year. They like to push the tempo and I think they’ll be a hard team to guard.”

Arkansas began the season with a win over Alcorn State in Hot Springs but suffered a loss at Southern Methodist Wednesday.

Sophomore Ashley Daniels posted a career-best 21 points in the Alcorn State and senior Charity Ford tallied a career-high 24 at SMU. The Razorbacks’ first two games have been a sprint with a lot of possessions and a speedy tempo and Collen envisions more of the same with ETSU.

“East Tennessee State is small and fast,” Collen said. “They are really hard to guard in transition. They are as athletic as any team in the SEC.

“But we’re not going to change what we’re trying to do,” he continued. “SMU went small against us late in the game and made it hard for us. But we’re pretty determined to develop our inside game — that’s the direction we want to go.”

The Razorbacks have looked early to Daniels, freshman Sarah Watkins and senior Ashley McCray for their inside game. All three have posted good minutes early this season.

“Everyone has had good moments this year,” Collen said. “I see a lot of talent but we have to piece our individual efforts together and play better as a team.”

Sunday’s game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. tip. Arkansas departs Tuesday for a week-long trip to Cancun, Mexico, for tournament action. Arkansas faces Iona and Western Kentucky at the Caribbean Challenge.

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