ABOUT THE LADY RAZORBACKS: The 30th edition of the Arkansas women’s basketball team takes the floor this season with head coach Susie Gardner excited about her third Lady’Back team. Arkansas returns at least several starters from last year’s team that went 17-14 overall, reaching the second round of the Women’s NIT.
HEY, I KNOW YOU: If the head coach of the Cameron Lady Aggies looks familiar, it’s because he is. Dick Halterman was the long-time head coach of the Oklahoma State Cowgirls before stepping down several years ago. He’s returned to the women’s collegiate game as the head coach for Division II Cameron, and makes his 16th appearance against the Lady’Backs. While in his 19 seasons at OSU, Halterman posted a 6-9 record against the Lady’Backs.
DIFFERENT LOOK TO THE EXHIBITION SEASON: For the first time since the AIAW era, Arkansas will take on non-Division I opponents. Utilizing the new rules adopted last year, Arkansas plays a pair of Division II members rather than traveling teams of former collegians or foreign touring teams. Unlike the men’s basketball teams, the women still have that option, but Susie Gardner elected to face regional opponents instead.
SO CAMERON MAKES HISTORY: The Aggies become the first collegiate team to play Arkansas as an exhibition opponent in the 30-year history of the program.
ABOUT THE LADY AGGIES: Cameron returns four starters and seven letterwinners from a 11-16 team that finished 5-7 last year in the Lone Star Conference. Junior guard 5-10 Brittany Cooksey (12 ppg, 4.9 rpg) is the top returning scorer and rebounder for the Lady Aggies.
DON’T LET THE DIVISION FOOL YOU: While Cameron might be Division II, their roster is filled with Division I players like seniors Melissa Steen — a transfer from Oklahoma State — and Joneatta Brown — a transfer from Texas-Arlington.
THESE AGGIES ARE TALL: With senior Joneatta Brown topping the chart at 6-4, Cameron rolls into town with four players 6-1 and taller. Meanwhile, the Lady’Backs have only one player — senior Kristina Andjelkovic — over 6-0 for this game.
VERSUS CAMERON: This is the first meeting with the Lawton, Okla., university in women’s basketball.
TOUGH WEEKEND FOR CAMERON: The Lady Aggies are traveling to Fayetteville for their second Division I exhibition game of the weekend. Cameron is at Tulsa on Saturday afternoon.
SISTERS VS. SISTERS: The Arkansas-Cameron game brings together a unique moment — battling sisters. All four went to high school in Texas. Conroe, Texas, was the home for the Browns, Linda, a 5-11 guard, and her older sister, 6-4 center Joneatta. Don’t be misled by the Brown sisters as seniors. Joneatta transferred to Cameron from UTA, and had sat out of basketball before returning to the court now in the same class as her younger sister Linda. For Arkansas, its the guard tandem of sophomore Brittney and senior/grad student Rochelle.
EXPERIMENTAL RULES FOR EXHIBITION GAMES: The two principal experiments involve what would be fundamental changes in the women’s collegiate game. While women’s hoops has always had a shot clock, it has — for the same reason – never had a 10-second backcourt. The other experiment involves backing up the three-point line from the long-established 19-9 to 20-6.
FOR EXHIBITION GAMES: Arkansas is 20-11 all-time, but has a three-game losing streak to preseason teams dating from the final exhibition game of 2003. The vast majority of Arkansas’ exhibition games have been against foreign clubs, but against teams based in the US — Athletes in Action, Everyone’s Internet, as examples — Arkansas is 6-6 all-time.
RADIO STARTS SUNDAY, KELLAMS RETURNS: The 17th consecutive season of Lady Razorback Radio Network broadcasts begins this weekend with a familiar voice on play-by-play. Kyle Kellams returns to the broadcast position this season with color analyst Bill Smith.
PFEIFER OUT FOR THE SEASON: One day after being voted by the league’s coaches and media to the preseason all-SEC second team, returning leading scorer Sarah Pfeifer tore her ACL in her left knee during the opening minutes of the Red-White Game. Pfeifer will begin “prehab” for surgery to be schedule during late November or early December. The 2005 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Pfeifer has already used a redshirt season in 2003 after a traumatic shoulder injury at the Loyola Marymount tournament. Regrettably, this marks the fourth major surgery (2003, left shoulder arthroscopic; 2004, left shoulder full cut; 2005, right shoulder full cut) in her Arkansas career.
RED-WHITE GOOD NEWS: Whitney Jones combined for 21 points to lead all scorers in the intrasquad game last week. Melissa Hobbs pulled down 10 rebounds with eight points for a near double-double. Sheree Thompson did get the double, getting 10 boards and 10 points along with six assists for the White team. Rochelle Vaughn had 11 points for the Red squad while Dominique Washington combined 12 points for both teams.
FOUR OUT, ONE IN: Get use to that phrase as Arkansas begins to work with a four-guard offense accentuate the positives of a deep and talented perimeter corps.
DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN: Last year, Danielle Allen was the break-out player in the Red-White. This year, it was another post player Whitney Jones. Allen lit up the 2004 Red-White for 23 points and 12 rebounds which proved to be the sign of things to come for the sophomore.
NOT EXACTLY THE SHOOTING STARS: Rochelle Vaughn’s 3-of-15 from the field wasn’t positive, and she wasn’t along struggling from the floor. Sheree Thompson gained a double-double, but shot only 4-of-14. Leslie Howard was one of the top rebounders — one of three Lady’Backs with 10 boards in the Red-White — but the transfer guard only had 2-of-12 from the field, and a mere 1-of-9 from behind the arc.
NEW FACES ON THE BENCH: Khadija J. Head joins the staff as an assistant coach this fall, but she’s not the only newcomer on the Lady’Back bench. Arkansas has a new basketball trainer this season, Sara Melby. Melby joins the team after serving as the women’s basketball trainer at Marshall. Melby has a new student assistant, Malinda McNew. The Lady’Backs also have two new managers for the upcoming season, Trudi Spencer and Nathan Bodenstein. One new face is old as Allison Singleton returns as the team’s graduate assistant.
PFEIFER NAMED PRESEASON ALL-SEC: Returning leading scorer Sarah Pfeifer was voted preseason all-SEC second team by the league’s coaches in balloting prior to conference media day in Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday. Pfeifer was voted by the league coaches as the 2005 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year last season.
LADY’BACKS VOTED PRESEASON 10TH AT SEC MEDIA DAYS: The Arkansas Lady Razorbacks were voted in a tie for 10th place with Mississippi State by the media assembled for this year’s basketball media days in Birmingham. The media seconded the endorsement of the coaches by voting Sarah Pfeifer to the preseason all-SEC second team. Prior to media day, the league coaches picked Pfeifer preseason second team. Defending champion LSU and Tennessee split most of the first-place votes, with UT getting the nod on points in the poll with 251, followed by LSU in second at 248 but one more first-place vote (11 to 10 for UT). Georgia was third with one first-place vote and 224. Vanderbilt rounded out the top four. Ole Miss, Auburn, Florida, Alabama and Kentucky were next before Arkansas and Miss State. South Carolina was voted 12th.
MOORE, BUSH SUSPENDED FOR PRESEASON: Senior returning starters Kristin Moore and Adrienne Bush are suspended for the three preseason games and opening games of the season. Moore will not play in the season opener at SMU or the home opener against Memphis due to violations of University policies. Bush will not play the opener at SMU due to violations of team and Women’s Athletics Department rules. Both continue to practice.
TICKETS ARE ON SALE: Season tickets for the 2005-06 season are on sale. Prices are $90 for reserved, $80 for student/senior citizen reserved and are available by calling 877-LADYBACK or 57-LBACK, or for new season ticket sales available on-line at LADYBACKS.COM. All season ticket renewals must be processed by the Lady’Back Ticket Office, but the season ticket form for renewals can be downloaded from the website.
HEAD OUT ON THE ROAD WITH ARKANSAS: The first of three proposed fan bus trips with the team is an overnight trip leaving Nov. 18 to SMU. A day trip to Hot Springs for the Dec. 15 game with Nicholls State is the second with an extended stay in North Little Rock for the SEC Tournament is the third trip. For more information on reserving seats on the fan trips and pricing, please contact Chris Pohl at 575-7312 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LUNCH WITH SUSIE: Arkansas head coach Susie Gardner’s luncheons begin on Monday, Oct. 31. The luncheons begin at 11:30 at the Clarion Hotel. Cost is $8.50 for the buffet. For more questions, contact Lady’Back marketing at 575-7312.
LIVE LADY’BACKS: Arkansas will provide all games from Bud Walton Arena not available on cable television via LADYBACKS.COM video streaming, plus the Arkansas road game from Oregon via a shared feed in the XOS system. This means that 19 of Arkansas’ 27 regular season games can be viewed live by cable or internet.
FIGHTING RAZORBACKS: Arkansas’ two great comebacks last season from double-digit deficits. Suspected to be the greatest rally in a conference game at Arkansas, the 17-point comeback versus Mississippi State ranks in a tie for the fourth largest deficit overcome in Division I history. The Lady’Backs were down 42-25 with 4:38 left in the first half, and turned the game around to an 11-point lead with less than 30 seconds left before the final 80-73 score. Arkansas’ other rally, from 15 points down against Western Kentucky on Nov. 28, 2004, (28-13, 6:57 in the first half) to win 83-79, is just one point from tying the fifth largest — 16 points.
CALL HER THE QUEEN OF COMEBACK: Susie Gardner may have two entries on the greatest comeback list. While at Austin Peay during the 1999-2000 season, her Lady Govs trailed Tennessee State by 20 points, 61-41 with 7:32 left to play. Gardner pushed APSU to a 32-4 finish to win, 73-65. This would give her the second largest rally in NCAA history — two shy of the record of 22 — but perhaps the quickest comeback of all time. In the 22-point rally by Oregon over Arizona, the peak deficit was with 16:20 left in the game. The only other recorded 20-point rallies took longer. The first was by Florida in 1992. The Gators trailed Alabama with 11 minutes left and needed overtime to win. The other was when Southern Miss came back from a first-half 20-point deficit to Mississippi College in 1999. APSU is reporting in the 2000 game for addition to next year’s record book.
STEALS LEAD SEC: For only the fifth time in Arkansas’ 13 seasons in the SEC, the Lady’Backs led the league in a statistical category. The school-record 388 steals marks the first time since 2000 for the Lady’Backs to lead the SEC.
VAUGHN MOVES UP SCORING LIST: Midway through SEC play Rochelle Vaughn became the 42nd Lady’Back to score 500 points in her career, and with 648 ends the season ranked 31st all-time. Next on the career ranking is Shaka Massey at 676, which will break Vaughn into the career top 30.
VAUGHN GOES TO ASSIST TOP 8, KNOCKING ON STEAL DOOR: With her five assists against UNLV, Rochelle Vaughn passed Juliet Jackson for eighth place all-time at Arkansas. Vaughn heads into her senior year with 321 assists, and Cheryl Orcholski next on the list at 323. On the steal list, Vaughn has 168 for her career, and is 19 away from catching 10th place Shea Henderson with 187.
PEOPLES ONLY 17 AWAY: Kristin Peoples closed her second year at Arkansas 483 points for her career, which leaves her only 17 away from becoming the 44th player in UA history to score over 500 in her career. The sophomore is also only 16 assists from jumping into the career top 20 at Arkansas.