Paul Boyd is a sports reporter for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He was voted Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year in 2018.
Wolfenbarger earns award from SEC
Arkansas' Jersey Wolfenbarger (24) drives around an Arkansas-Fort Smith defender during an exhibition game Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE — Jersey Wolfenbarger was named Southeastern Conference freshman of the week as announced by the league office on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-5 former McDonald’s All-American scored in double figures in back-to-back games for the first time in her young college career, including a season-high 16 points against Sam Houston State on Saturday.
She made 5 of 8 attempts from the floor, 3 of 4 from three-point range.
She added 10 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists against Belmont on Sunday. She is averaging 7.5 points and 3.8 rebounds this season, primarily off the bench.
Wolfenbarger did not play in Arkansas' game at Arkansas State because of an illness, according to Arkansas coach Mike Neighbors, and played only six-plus minutes against SMU. But she averaged 17 minutes in the Razorbacks' two wins over the weekend.
Neighbors said Wolfenbarger is growing more comfortable on the court.
“We had her playing about four different positions just at first to see what she was going to be most comfortable doing,” Neighbors said. “Now we’re starting to strip things away and narrow our focus to, ‘Hey, just be really good at this spot or really good in this moment with this lineup,’ and I think that’s helped her as well.
“But it sure is a lot of fun to watch, from making a three to tipping one in on a stick-back to bringing the ball up the court and initiating our offense. We’re not used to seeing those types of things, so we’re all going to be front row for a lot of those new first things for a while.”
Wolfenbarger is the second Arkansas player to earn the weekly honor this season, joining Samara Spencer.
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