HawgBeat - Pair of Arkansas women's basketball players enter transfer portal
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Pair of Arkansas women's basketball players enter transfer portal

A'Tyanna Gaulden led Arkansas is assists this season.
A'Tyanna Gaulden led Arkansas is assists this season. (Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports)

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FAYETTEVILLE — Two key reserves on Arkansas’ top-25 women’s basketball team have entered the transfer portal, HawgBeat has learned.

Guards A’Tyanna Gaulden and Rokia Doumbia, who each averaged 16 minutes per game off the bench this season, could remove their name from the portal and choose to stay, but both players have been removed from the Razorbacks’ online roster.

Although neither of them started a game, Gaulden and Doumbia were the only two non-starters who appeared in all 32 games during Arkansas’ 24-8 campaign. They were set to be a fifth-year senior and junior, respectively, next year.

Gaulden, a former five-star recruit, will be looking for the third school of her collegiate career, as she originally signed with Florida State. The 5-foot-7 Georgia native spent just one year with the Seminoles before transferring to Arkansas.

After sitting out a season because of NCAA transfer rules, Gaulden played two seasons with the Razorbacks. She missed seven SEC games with an injury last year, when she averaged 5.0 points and 2.5 assists in 13.0 minutes.

This season, Gaulden led the Razorbacks with 100 assists despite never starting and playing only 16.8 minutes per game, which ranked sixth on the team. She also averaged 6.9 points, highlighted by a 17-point effort at Florida.

Doumbia was a four-star prospect coming out of the IMG Academy in Florida as a member of the Class of 2018, according to ESPN, but didn’t play much as a freshman. Originally from Mali, a country in West Africa, the 5-foot-9 guard averaged 3.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 16.3 minutes as a sophomore this season.

Their departures would create space for Arkansas’ 2020 signing class, as well as open up a scholarship for head coach Mike Neighbors to fill for the 2020-21 season.

Barring an unexpected decision by the NCAA to grant them an extra season because the coronavirus led to the NCAA Tournament being canceled, Arkansas is losing a pair of seniors from this year’s team - Alexis Tolefree and Kiara Williams. (Jailyn Mason was also listed as a senior on the roster, but she redshirted because of an injury and will play her final season next year.)

That means there are four open spots and three will be taken by signees Elauna Eaton, Rylee Langerman and Destinee McGhee.

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