FAYETTEVILLE — University of Arkansas women’s basketball head coach Tom Collen met with media on Wednesday to preview the team’s first road trip of the season to Alburquerque, N.M., for the New Mexico Tournament.
"I think it will be good for us," Collen said. "We’ve played six games here at home. We need to get out on the road and play in a different environment. You’ve got to learn to accept the challenge of playing in front of a crowd, shooting at different baskets, playing with a different basketball and there’s all kinds of little things like that. I think it’s a good step for this young team right now."
Collen discussed the team’s opportunity to play in The Pit while at the tournament.
"It’s a unique venue," Collen said. "I know I have a lot of history with it having coached at Colorado State, we used to go to The Pit every single year. I think it will be a good experience. Playing at altitude, that will be a unique experience. If we end up battling against New Mexico, they’re going to have to fight that crowd a little bit. I think it’s a win-win for us."
The first opponent in tournament play for Arkansas will Southeast Missouri, who Collen said will provide a good challenge for Arkansas in its first road game of the season.
"They’re a growing group," Collen said. "When I watch them on video, they’re going to be a challenge for us. They played Missouri in a very close game and could have won there. They’ve played against Western Kentucky who is an awfully good team. They’ve played a really good schedule. We’re not going to look imposing to them and they’re very well coached."
Arkansas (6-0) and Southeast Missouri (2-4) are scheduled to tip off at 6 p.m. Friday inside The Pit in Alburquerque, N.M.
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