After a brief intermission, the Big 12/SEC Challenge concludes this weekend. Leading off Saturday’s games is an afternoon match between the Kansas State Wildcats and the No. 23 Arkansas Razorbacks, the latter of whom will be putting their undefeated home record on the line.
In his third year at the helm of his alma mater, Arkansas head coach Mike Neighbors continues to preach an uptempo style of basketball. It’s been highly effective for the Razorbacks thus far; while the fast pace is nothing new for the Razorbacks under Neighbors, the team’s offense has been extremely efficient, scoring a blistering 110.3 points per 100 possessions.
It should be noted, however, that just two of Arkansas’ games have come against “power five” conference opponents, one of which was a close loss against Cal.
The upcoming game against Kansas State, then, is a good opportunity for the Razorbacks to justify their ranking and prove they’re for real. The Wildcats might sit at just 4-3, but they’re not to be underestimated.
The heartbeat of K-State is, without a doubt, senior forward Peyton Williams. The multi-sport athlete has blossomed into one of the top rebounders in the country; per Her Hoop Stats, her 21.1 percent total rebounding rate ranks in the 98th percentile, and she’s pulled down double-digit rebounds in all but one game this season.
The Wildcats will need a big game out of Williams to offset the explosive scoring prowess of Arkansas. In particular, Chelsea Dungee has been a force, scoring 21.0 points per game and ranking fifth in the country in total free throws attempted.
Will Williams and K-State be able to control the boards and the pace enough to give themselves a chance? We’ll find out tomorrow as the Big 12/SEC Challenge continues.
Kansas State Wildcats (4-3) vs. Arkansas Razorbacks (7-1)
When: Saturday, December 7 at 3:00 p.m. ET
Where: Bud Walton Arena, Fayetteville, Arkansas
How to watch: SEC Network Plus