FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The 23rd-ranked University of Arkansas women’s basketball team welcomes No. 24 Texas A&M to Bud Walton Arena for the first meeting in Southeastern Conference action between the Razorbacks and Aggies.
Arkansas (12-2, 0-1) faced Texas A&M (11-4, 1-0) in the Razorbacks’ final game last season when the Aggies eliminated Tom Collen
’s team in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in College Station, Texas.
This year’s Razorbacks have put the memory of the NCAA Tournament out of their minds and are focusing on getting better and getting a win on Sunday.
“We are just getting ready for this game,” senior Sarah Watkins
said. “They are a great team but we are focused on us. We are focused on their sets and how we are going to defend them.”
Arkansas is coming off a tough and very physical SEC opening loss at Auburn Thursday. The Razorbacks fell, 47-50, to the much-improved Tigers but came away from the game with the recognition that play in the league is different.
“Our players are excited to play and put the game (Auburn) out of our minds,” Collen said. “One of the great things about the SEC is there is always another top 25 team on the horizon to prove yourself.”
Much has been made about the return of former Razorback and current Aggies coach Gary Blair to Northwest Arkansas. Blair guided the Razorbacks from 1993-2000, with Collen working as an associate head coach during some of that period.
“This game is not about me or Gary,” Collen said. “It’s about establishing a great tradition of basketball between Arkansas and Texas A&M. I think fans are going to see a great game. We have similar teams and both of us have veteran players who didn’t play much last year and who are now filling bigger roles this season. This will be another great test for us.
The Razorbacks remain home Thursday hosting LSU Jan. 10 followed by a road game at Vanderbilt Jan. 13 as the season continues.