LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The University of Arkansas women’s basketball team returns to the hardwood facing DePaul in the first round of the Duel in the Desert in Las Vegas, Nev. Friday at 4:30 p.m.
Arkansas (6-3) is coming off a tough lost at Northwestern (8-2) Thursday and had a quick turn-around to get to Vegas for tournament play.
"It was a tough loss but you know when you play in the SEC you’re not going to go undefeated," Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. "You’re going to take some hits and it’s a requirement that you’re going to be able to pick yourself up off the ground and move forward. You have to treat it as a learning experience. I think our players played hard in the last 20 minutes. I think they believed in what they were doing so the key is whether or not they can carry that over into the next game."
DePaul enters the game with a 7-3 mark and have four players averaging in double-figures. The Blue Demons suffered a 96-60 loss to second-ranked Stanford in their most recent game.
"They’re a tough team," Collen said. "They’ve been to the NCAA Tournament seven or eight years. Doug Bruno is a great coach and they’re very talented. They had one of players go down with a knee injury but they plugged another player in who is averaging 14 or15 a game since she came in – Anna Martin. I think the thing that concerns me most about them is not their talent level but their heart. They are a really hard-nosed team. Most of those players are from Chicago and they really come after you and compete hard. They never back down. We’re going to have to bring a competitive attitude coming off a tough loss into that game and that’s going to be key for us."
Arkansas arrived in Las Vegas, Nev., late Thursday night. The Razorbacks have two film sessions and a full practice Friday before the game Saturday.
If Arkansas defeats DePaul, the Razorbacks face the winner of Florida State (8-0)/UTSA (4-3) in a 7 p.m. central contest. A loss would pit the Razorbacks against the loser of that game at 2 p.m. Game times and opponents for Monday are yet to be determined.