Peoples On Fire From Outside

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas women's basketball coach Susie Gardner never saw Kristin Peoples play high school ball. So when Peoples told her coach she was one heck of a shooter back in her prep days, Gardner just had to take her word for it.

But after coaching Peoples in her first two seasons at Arkansas -- where she averaged just 27.4 percent from three-point land -- Gardner might have had some doubts about whether or not her junior guard was really the sharp-shooter she claimed to be.

Well if there were any doubts, Peoples is doing her best in 2005-06 to put them to rest.

Sunday, the 5-foot-7 Columbus, Ohio native continued her torrid streak from outside the 3-point arc, hitting 4 of 6 shots from long range while finishing with 15 points in Arkansas' 84-57 win against Missouri-Kansas City in Bud Walton Arena.

For the season, the once-struggling Peoples is now the hot hand for the Lady'Backs, connecting on 18 of 37 three-point attempts (48.6 percent) through the first seven games.

"I'm feeling a lot more confident with my shot," Peoples said. "I've been practicing it a lot, but as far as getting open shots I've got to credit my teammates because they're getting me open shots."

After starting the first four games, Peoples has come off the bench in the last three contests. Not that playing as a reserve has made any difference, with Peoples averaging 17.7 points and five assists per game since being moved out of the starter's role.

Either way, Gardner is happy to see Peoples lighting things up like she promised all along.

"I think (Kristin) made a conscious effort throughout the summer and throughout the year to work on (3-point shooting)," said Gardner. "She's taking her time and when you hit the first couple you get more confident.

"She gave us a boost. When they went zone, not much was happening other than her knocking down those 3's."

Breaking The Trend

Who said the Lady'Backs had to force a ton of turnovers to win a game? Well, before Sunday, the numbers did.

Heading into Sunday's contest, Arkansas was 3-0 when it forced 26 or more turnovers but 0-3 when it forced less than 26 turnovers. Against the Kangaroos, though, the Lady'Backs managed an easy win while forcing just 22 turnovers.

So, there goes that trend.

Still Perfect

Arkansas improved to 6-0 all-time against the Kangaroos with the win Sunday, including a 4-0 record in Fayetteville.

All but one of the games have been a blowout in the Lady'Backs' favor, with Arkansas barely pulling out a 46-42 win against Missouri-Kansas City during the 1988-89 season.

Up Next

Arkansas has just a one day layoff before traveling to Bowling Green, Ky., for its final nonconference road game of the regular season. The Lady'Backs will face Western Kentucky at 5 p.m. on Tuesday in a rematch of last year's game won by Arkansas, 83-79, in Fayetteville.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories