FAYETTEVILLE -- University of Arkansas women's basketball head coach Tom Collen met with members of the media Friday to recap the team's SEC opener against South Carolina and preview its upcoming road matchup against Missouri.
The Razorbacks (13-1, 0-1 SEC) opened up SEC play at home on Thursday, suffering their first loss of the season in a hard-fought 55-51 loss to No. 12/13 South Carolina (13-1, 1-0 SEC).
"Our freshmen learned the most, but our veterens knew coming in that it would be a struggle and it would be physical," Collen said. "For the first time, our freshmen finally experienced that and that's something they need to go through. You can preach and preach, but they don't get it until they experience. We learned a little bit on how to deal with it."
An unforgiving conference, Collen and the Razorbacks know they must quickly learn and move on to the next opponent, which happens to be a road game against Missouri (12-2, 1-0 SEC) for UA. Collen said winning on the road in the SEC is never easy, no matter the opponent.
"It's very hard," Collen said. "We've got 14 teams in this league and right now all 14 are pretty solid. You've got 14 teams that feel like they've got a chance to get into the NCAA Tournament. When you have that, they're competing--especially early in the year."
"They've done a pretty good job of promoting and their crowds are starting to get bigger," Collen said of Missouri. "We've got some pretty good experience with them. It's a rivalry game now too and we'll be playing them twice a year from here on out. On a night when they're making threes, they can compete with anyone in the country."
Arkansas and Missouri are scheduled to tip off 2 p.m. Sunday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo.
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