FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas women’s basketball team has a chance to add to its list of "firsts" in the 2010-11season when they travel to Ole Miss Thursday for a 7p.m. tip in Oxford, Miss.
The Razorbacks (16-8, 4-8 SEC) have a chance to pick up a win in Oxford over the Rebels (10-14, 3-9 SEC), one of two SEC venues in which the Razorbacks have never won.
"We are exciting about going to Ole Miss," Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. "We have played well on the road this year. We know this game will be a great challenge for us but it could be very rewarding as well.
"This is a big opportunity for us," he continued. "We are a little down right now and we can’t wait to get back out on the floor."
After starting the season 12-0, the Razorbacks have stumbled in recent games dropping five contests by less than five points, one of those to Ole Miss earlier this year. The losses have been disappointing for the team but the Ole Miss rematch presents Arkansas with a chance for redemption.
"We were very disappointed after losing that game," junior Lyndsay Harris said. "We have gone back into the gym and made corrections. We had some breakdowns defensively but we’ve worked on that and we are continuing to improve on the mistakes."
"We are working on communicating better and limiting our mistakes," added junior C’eira Ricketts. "We are digging in and are ready to get back on track. Our season as a whole has been pretty good and we are still in pretty good shape if we take care of business in the next couple of games."
Harris and Ricketts are among the team’s leaders in many statistical categories and both players are quickly approaching career milestones. Harris enters the Ole Miss contest with 992 career points, needing just eight more to become the 24th player in program history to score at least 1,000 career points.
Ricketts is closing fast as well entering the week with 973 career points.
The Razorbacks have achieved many program milestones this already season. The 12-win streak to start the year was the second-best in program history. Arkansas picked up two wins over nationally-ranked opponents for the first time and notched a road win at LSU, snapping a 16-game losing streak to the Tigers and ending a road losing streak that dated back to 1996.
"We are still in a position to have the best season at Arkansas in the last 10 years," Collen said. "We still expect that as a team. This team believes better basketball is ahead of us. We just have to find a way to get over the hump."
Ole Miss enters the game in need of a win as well. The Rebels are on a three-game skid after a five-point loss to No. 24 Georgia Sunday.
"Ole Miss is a good basketball team," Collen said, "especially on their home floor. They play a tight zone defense and you beat them from the outside."
Arkansas has just four regular season SEC games remaining. The Razorbacks follow up Thursday’s game hosting LSU Sunday in the team’s annual Pink Game. Arkansas travels to Kentucky Feb. 24 and hosts Alabama on Senior Day Feb. 27.