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Arkansas expects strong challenge from UNC Wilmington


Arkansas should be on full alert before conference play begins.

The Razorbacks have seen a steady diet of challenging games since the beginning of the season, and another one is on the way when UNC Wilmington visits on Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark.

Arkansas (8-4) has won four of its last five games, though it needed a comeback last week to overcome Abilene Christian 83-73.

“Since we got back from our Christmas break, it has allowed us to clean up some things offensively,” Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said. “It allowed us to, hopefully, to see some of the holes we have in areas (where) we need to have growth.”

UNCW (9-2) has created a nice opening couple of months of the season, the highlight being a win at Kentucky. That’s the only team from a power conference that the Seahawks have faced.

“We’ve had enough time to dissect many of their games,” Musselman said. “They’ve got a great record. It’s a team that is very, very dangerous. They’ve got some veterans on this team.”

UNCW forward Trazarien White is averaging 19.3 points per game. He has made 57 percent of his shots from the field. He had a season-high 27 points in the Kentucky game and matched that in the most recent game against Marshall.

“They have a great star in White, who can really score,” Musselman said. “They know their roles. They play with a good pace offensively.”

UNCW is 5-1 in road games. This will be the middle assignment in a stretch of five consecutive road outings. The Seahawks defeated Georgia Southern and Marshall prior to the Christmas break.

“We have grown, we have matured, we have gotten better,” UNCW coach Takayo Siddle said.

The Seahawks often do wholesale substitutions, with five new players heading to the court.

“I thought our guys coming in did a tremendous job,” Siddle of the Marshall game.

In 11 of their games this season, the Razorbacks have been led in scoring by either Tramon Mark (16.9 points per game) or Khalif Battle (15.3)

This will be the last game before conference play for both teams — Arkansas in the Southeastern Conference and UNCW in the Coastal Athletic Association.

–Field Level Media

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