NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tom Collen leads the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team works through final preparations for their first round match up with Florida at the 2011 Southeastern Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville, Tenn., Thursday.
Arkansas (18-10) faces the Gators (17-13) for the second time this year after a tough loss to open SEC play in early January. They meet Florida in a noon central game that is televised by FSN. Check local listings for more information.
"Florida is a great challenge for us," Collen said. "It’s a great matchup and we are looking forward to a rematch with them. They really stunned us early in the game at their place and that gives us a little incentive going into this game."
Arkansas is paced by a pair of All-SEC selections in junior C’eira Ricketts and sophomore Sarah Watkins. Ricketts leads the team with 14.0 points per game closely followed by Watkins with 13.2 ppg. Junior Lyndsay Harris is also a consistent double-digit scoring threat averaging 12.1 ppg.
The Gators enter the game winners of their last three games. As is has been for the Razorbacks, the SEC season has been somewhat streaky for Florida and are the eighth seed in the tournament.
"Florida is a great rebounding team," Collen said. "They really hurt us there. They are a great team in transition and we have to get down the floor and get matched up."
The Razorbacks arrived in Nashville for an early practice on the event floor at Bridgestone Arena. Teams were given 45 minutes on the game floor and then traveled across town to Trevecca Nazerene University for a two-hour practice.
Arkansas welcomes fans to a pre-departure pep rally in the host hotel Thursday at 9:50 a.m. Join other fans, the band and the Razorbacks for a final send off before their first game.