FAYETTEVILLE – Southeastern Conference women’s basketball action continues as the University of Arkansas hosts South Carolina Sunday at 3 p.m. in Bud Walton Arena.
Arkansas (16-6, 4-6 SEC) is looking to get back in the win column after a disappointing road loss at No. 24 Georgia Thursday. South Carolina (12-10, 4-5 SEC) was off Thursday after a loss at Auburn last Sunday.
"We have talked to the team about rebounding right away and we’ve been trying to keep them in a good state of mind," Collen said after the tough loss. "We have prepared well up to this point for this moment. We are gearing up for South Carolina. We have two and a half days to get ready for a big game."
The game’s significance has gotten larger in recent days after the Razorbacks dropped below the .500 mark in conference play. Arkansas has its sights set on a postseason appearance and a win over the Gamecocks would go a long way in helping reach that goal.
"This team has proven it is pretty resilient," Collen said. "The big thing is that we’ve survived droughts and mistakes along our way. We still have some improvements to make but I still like where we are at."
This week, Arkansas has three players averaging in double figures. Junior C’eira Ricketts vaulted to the top of the leaderboard with 29 points at Vanderbilt and 20 more at LSU in recent games. Ricketts leads the team with 13.6 points-per-game this year. Sophomore Sarah Watkins is second with 13.3 ppg followed by Junior Lyndsay Harris in third with 13.2 ppg.
South Carolina enters the game after a bye week on Thursday. The Gamecocks have, like Arkansas, four conference wins over LSU, Ole Miss, Alabama and Georgia this year. They are coming off a recent loss at Auburn, 47-54.
Last year’s game in Columbia, S.C., was one to remember – if you are a Razorback fan. Arkansas was down by 18 in the middle of the second half and rallied to win the game. It is the largest comeback in an SEC game for the Razorbacks.
"South Carolina is a driven, hard-nosed team," Collen said. "You have to match their effort for 40 minutes. They have a lot of ball handlers on the floor at all times and they are a surprisingly good rebounding team for as small as they are."