Peoples, Like Gardner, Not Looking Past UNLV

Lady Razorbacks sophomore guard Kristin Peoples would make a great coach someday.

Asked on Wednesday to name any other WNIT first-round pairings besides UNLV-Arkansas, Peoples came up empty.

You know the old coaching cliche -- you play 'em one game at a time.

"All I know is we're playing Nevada-Las Vegas," Peoples said.

Arkansas roommates Sarah Pfeifer and Rochelle Vaughn did slightly better in the WNIT bracket quiz.

"In the second round we would play the winner of Mississippi State-Arkansas State," Pfeifer said. "Also in our bracket are Nebraska, Marquette, Creighton and Iowa. After that it's the quarterfinals."

Actually, three wins would put Arkansas in the semifinals.

Vaughn revealed the source of Pfeifer's bracketology.

"We have a bracket in our apartment," Vaughn said.

Pfeifer responded, "But I've only looked at it twice."

The same seemed true of Vaughn.

Asked to name other first-round matchups, Vaughn could only come up with Tulsa-Texas A&M (Wednesday night) and Florida-South Florida (tonight).

"I think Maine plays Delaware," Vaughn offered.

Close. Delaware hosts St. John's tonight, just one space above the Maine-West Virginia game (Friday), on the opposite side of the bracket from Arkansas.

"And I know Gonzaga is in it," Vaughn said. "They went 27-3 and got snubbed by the NCAA Tournament. Villanova is in it, too."

Indeed, Gonzaga played host to Brigham Young on Wednesday night, and Villanova is at Chattanooga on Friday.

Vaughn, advised that SMU plays at Southwest Missouri State tonight, said, "SMS almost beat LSU."

Peoples figured studying UNLV was enough to say grace over.

"UNLV runs a lot of different 'junk' defenses," Peoples said. "They trap a lot and rotate over."

Vaughn took a tape of UNLV's guards home with her after Wednesday's practice.

"I'm told they're really fast and athletic," Vaughn said.

She was told that by UA coach Susie Gardner, who compared UNLV to Florida or Ole Miss in athleticism. Gardner said the Lady Rebels like to press.

At the start of the season, before hitting the roadblock of Southeastern Conference competition, Arkansas pressed a lot and posted boxcar numbers of steals.

Might the Lady'Backs possibly play that way again at times in the WNIT?

"I definitely like the uptempo style," Peoples said. "But that's up to coach Gardner."

Not being able to press as much in SEC games naturally lowered the number of steals Arkansas was getting, Peoples said.

Vaughn leads Arkansas with 59 steals, followed by Peoples with 53.

Gardner expressed respect for UNLV guards Sheena Moore and Brittney Thomas.

"They can shoot the 3-pointer, but they can also drive," Gardner said.

Peoples was just happy to have an opponent to study.

"This is exciting," she said. "Most of our team has never played in postseason before. We look at it as an opportunity."

If the Lady'Backs win on Friday night, Peoples figures someone will tell her who they play next, and where and when.

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