FAYETTEVILLE – Having lost three straight games in close fashion, the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team (14-4, 1-4 SEC) returns home and looks to spark something back up against Ole Miss (9-9, 0-4 SEC) inside Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark., on Sunday.
The Razorbacks have played five SEC games this year and all have been decided by seven points or less. Four of those five have been decided by four points or less, including just a two-point loss to Georgia last Thursday.
"They’re frustrated with the losses, but they feel like they’re getting better. I think that’s the mindset you need in order to be able to move forward," head coach Tom Collen said. "We’re young and we’re not going to try and use that as an excuse. We’ve lost four SEC games and they all went right down to probably the last minute. You can’t think like a team that’s 1-4. You’ve got to think like a team that is almost 18-0."
On the other side, Ole Miss has opened SEC play 0-4 after suffering losses to Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama and Vanderbilt.
Valencia McFarland runs the show for the Rebels, ranked ninth in scoring in SEC (15.7 ppg) and also trails only Calli Berna (7.5) in the SEC with 6.3 assists per game. The spotlight will shine bright on the point guard position in Sunday’s matchup, as Berna enters coming off of one of her best performances of the season after recording 12 points, seven assists and five rebounds at Georgia.
Led by 2014 Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List honoree Berna, the Razorbacks rank third in the SEC and seventh in the NCAA for turnover margin with a +7.4 mark and are first in the SEC in assist/turnover ratio with 1.3. Arkansas has finished with more assists than turnovers in 11 games this season.
Three players average double-digit scoring for Ole Miss, led by Tia Faleru with 16.4 points per game. In SEC play, Faleru has led the team with 15.3 points per contest, followed by Valencia McFarland with 14.3 ppg and Gracie Frizzell at 10.0 ppg.
First in the SEC and second in the NCAA for scoring defense, the Razorbacks look to make it a tough day for the top scorers of the Rebels. Arkansas has held all of its SEC opponents well below their scoring averages this season. The Razorbacks have held 10 opponents to season-low point totals this season.
Arkansas and Ole Miss are scheduled to tip off at 2 p.m. Sunday inside Bud Walton Arena.
The game will air in Northwest Arkansas on KOSM-FM 92.1; in Rogers on KURM-AM 790; in Fort Smith on KFPW-FM 94.5 and 1230 AM; and in Little Rock on KREB-FM 103.7.
Season tickets are still available for the 2013-14 season. New this year, fans can choose their seat each game when they purchase a General Admission Season Ticket for $45. Reserved Season Tickets are $90 and Family Plans are available for $100. Included in the Family Plan is two adult and two youth general admission season tickets. Additional youth season tickets can be purchased for $20 each.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Razorback Ticket Center at 1-800-982-HOGS (4647) or go online to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
For more information on Arkansas women’s basketball, follow @RazorbackWBB on Twitter.