FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The University of Arkansas women’s basketball team plays under the lights of television Sunday as Southeastern Conference action continues at Alabama.
Arkansas (8-11, 0-6 SEC) faces a Crimson Tide (9-10, 1-5 SEC) coming of its first win over Florida Thursday. The game is televised by FSN and airs live with Dave Neal and Teresa Edwards calling the action.
“We’re excited to play another game and we’re excited to be on T.V.,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “Alabama is coming off a great win against Florida and they’ll be ready to go.
“It’s been a little tough for us recently,” Collen continued, “but we had a great practice — one of our best all year and this team has done a pretty good job of remaining positive.”
The Razorbacks have had several bright spots in recent games including the play of junior transfer Skye Rees who scored her Arkansas career-best with 10 points at #25 Kentucky Thursday.
Rees had some big minutes in a scoring run against #6 Georgia and has seen her playing time increase in recent contests.
“Skye is a junior but she’s new to us,” Collen said. “She’s trying to learn a new system and style as well as adjust to the speed of the game at this level. She’s really turned it up a notch recently. She’s at the point now where she doesn’t get as nervous and just goes out and plays. She’s a big kid who can shoot the three so she stretches the defense and she’s done a good job of making the most of her minutes.”
Sophomore Lyndsay Harris continues to put up solid scoring numbers and leads the team with 12.3 ppg this week. Harris has had 10 double-digit scoring performances including seven of the last eight games.
Sophomore C’eira Ricketts and senior Charity Ford are also emerging as team leaders. Ford averages 11.6 ppg and Ricketts 10.0 this season.
As with any opponent in the always-strong SEC, Alabama presents Arkansas with some unique challenges on the floor.
“Alabama is extremely athletic,” Collen said. “They are a good rebounding team and they’ll press full court. We have to box out and keep them of the boards.”
Arkansas will counter that with their nearly 40 rpg this year led by sophomore Ashley Daniels with 7.3 rpg. Daniels ranks 14th in the SEC in rebounds-per-game and is tied 19th in SEC only games for rebounding.
The Razorbacks and the Crimson Tide have another thing in common in that both are looking to get on a roll in SEC play.
“Alabama is a team who is a little better than their record indicates,” Collen said. “They are a good example for us in that all of a sudden it clicked for them (getting the win over Florida). We could use a win as well just to give us that shot in the arm we need.”
Arkansas has a bye week with no Thursday game next week. The Razorbacks host Vanderbilt Jan. 31, in the first of four remaining home games this year.