The Norman Transcript

Sports

March 23, 2010

Butler has a big job

Norman — By Michael Kinney

Transcript Sports Writer

In its win over Georgia Tech Sunday, Arkansas-Little Rock’s Shanika Butler faced off with Alex Montgomery, a bigger, taller and more experienced guard.

Despite the given disadvantages, Butler approached it like she does every game and held Montgomery to four points in the Trojans first ever NCAA tournament appearance and victory.

Beginning at 8:45 p.m. today, the Trojans’ designated lockown defender, who always guards the opponent’s most dangerous backcourt weapon, may get the biggest test of her career tonight when No. 11-seed UALR takes on No. 3-seed Oklahoma at Lloyd Noble Center.

That’s when she’ll start trying to stay in front Sooner point guard Danielle Robinson.

“I think Robinson’s a tough matchup for any team in the country,” UALR coach Jeff Foley said. “She is one of the best point guards in the country. I have watched her play AAU ball a lot. I’ve always said she is one of the quickest guards I have ever seen.”

Robinson’s averaging almost 17 points to go along with 5.9 assists and 1.9 steals per outing, and leads the Sooners in all three categories. Against South Dakota State Sunday, Robinson tallied 13 points, eight assists and four steals to spur OU to a 68-57 win.

“It’s two tough-nosed players,” Foley said. “I think it will be a great matchup for people to watch. She just wants to do what this team needs. And she has the athletic ability to do that. And she realizes it. She’s just doing what we ask her. But you have to have that heart, and she has the heart.”

Butler knows the type of dangers Robinson can present. But she also realizes that if she can slow down the all-conference performer, it gives the Trojans their best shot at winning and advancing to the Sweet 16 in Kansas City.

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