FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Neither sleet nor rain nor a really big football game can stop the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team from hosting LSU as Southeastern Conference action continues in Bud Walton Arena Thursday.
Arkansas (8-6, 0-1 SEC) welcomes No. 11/12 LSU (12-1, 1-0 SEC) for a 7 p.m. tip in the second game of conference play for both teams.
The Razorbacks opened the year with a close loss to Florida Sunday and are looking to rebound with a good effort against LSU.
“Ya know, we took a day off because we needed a break physically,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “We watched film (on Monday) and had an early practice (on Tuesday) and worked really hard once we were back on the floor. This team understands the challenge of getting knocked down and having to get back up in the SEC.”
Arkansas is in the midst of a solid season statistically paced by sophomore Lyndsay Harris who averages 12.5 ppg and 2.9 rpg this year.
Harris is one of three double-digit scorers for Arkansas and is joined by senior Charity Ford with 11.6 ppg and sophomore C’eira Ricketts with 11.3 ppg this year.
Despite all that scoring, Arkansas will have its hands full with one of the stingiest defenses in the country.
“LSU, year-in and year-out, is one of the best defensive teams in the country,” Collen said. “If we can score on them, we can score on anyone.”
The Tigers enter the game on a three-game winning streak after getting a 70-58 win at South Carolina to open league play. LSU averages 72.8 ppg and is holding opponents to 46.7 ppg for a+26.2 scoring margin.
Arkansas has been pretty steady in its starting lineup making its first change last week against Florida. Collen inserted freshman Sarah Watkins in for her first start of her career.
Watkins, a Germantown, Tenn., native, averages 7.7 ppg and 4.9 rpg this year.
“We just needed to get Sarah jump-started,” Collen said. “I hope starting gives her some more confidence and gets her rolling in the game. I think we’ll probably continue to experiment with the lineup a little bit. We haven’t really established any one player in the post position. Ashley Daniels has been our most consistent player in practice and games and she always plays hard but the other post spot is up for grabs.”
Arkansas wraps up its three game home stand, the longest of the year, with LSU. The Razorbacks travel to Oxford, Miss., facing Ole Miss Sunday, Jan. 10, in the first road SEC game of the year.