Jones Shows Toughness Against LSU

FAYETTEVILLE — Whitney Jones proved her worth Thursday night.

Despite being double- and triple-teamed for most of the game, the senior post from Blytheville played well underneath the basket against LSU's physical defense. In the end, however, Jones' efforts weren't enough as Arkansas lost its Southeastern Conference opener by 20 points.

Besides scoring eight points and having three blocks, Jones finished with a career-high 15 rebounds, including 12 on defense.

In the first half, Jones totaled 11 rebounds, which tied a school record for most rebounds in a half during a conference game. The last player to do that was Lauren Ervin, who did it nearly two years ago at Florida.

"Whitney is the one kid that we've got that's been through the SEC," Arkansas coach Tom Collen said. "She's got great physique, she's got great heart. She played hard and rebounded well. I think she did everything she could. I don't think we did a very good job of getting her the ball."

Before Thursday's game, Jones was averaging 10.2 points and a team-high seven rebounds per game. Against Missouri on Dec. 21, Jones had a previous career-high 14 rebounds

Jones showed early in the game she wasn't going to shy away from LSU's defenders, as she had success against starting forwards Ayana Dunning and LaSondra Barrett.

In fact, Jones was having so much success dominating the boards during the first half that LSU coach Van Chancellor took Dunning out and instead played 6-foot-2 freshman forward Courtney Jones.

"Jones was a real matchup for Dunning, it was a matchup nightmare," Chancellor said. "We were able to take (Dunning) out and put our Jones on (Arkansas') Jones, and that really helped us.

"I think Whitney Jones is a great player, she's a warrior and just battles every night. I'm going to be glad when she graduates. They're going to miss her here."

Jones said the physical nature of Thursday's game didn't bother her and that she was happy with the way she was battling for boards throughout the game.

"I just told myself before the game that I needed to work hard and get as many boards as I could," Jones said. "I knew if I did that, everything else would come."

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