Arkansas women receive top 25 ranking

Posted: December 24, 2012 at 5:06 p.m.

Arkansas players Melissa Wolf, Quistelle Williams and Sarah Watkins relax on the bench for the final minutes of their 80-41 win over Northwestern State on Friday, Dec. 21, at bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.

— The Arkansas women’s basketball team is nationally ranked for the first time in two years. The Razorbacks (11-1) are No. 25 in The Associated Press poll released Monday.

It’s the first ranking for the Razorbacks since they were in the AP poll for eight consecutive games — going as high as No. 20 — during the 2010-2011 season. They started that season 14-1, but finished 22-12, including 6-10 in the SEC.

“Of course it’s great to be recognized in the top 25 polls,” Arkansas coach Tom Collen said. “Now the challenge is to go out and keep winning and continue to move up in the polls. I really am excited about this for our players. They have worked so hard and it’s nice to see their hard work be recognized by the voters.”

Arkansas never got into the AP poll last season despite going 24-9 overall and 10-6 in SEC play, making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2003 and going 4-3 against ranked teams, including a 72-71 overtime victory at No. 6 Tennessee.

Arkansas has won eight in a row since losing to then-No. 13 Oklahoma 73-70 in Hawaii on Nov. 23. The Razorbacks beat then-No. 17 Kansas 64-56 at Walton Arena on Dec. 6.

Arkansas plays Coppin State at 7 p.m. Friday in Walton Arena.