Arkansas women’s basketball coach Mike Neighbors said his team’s still got plenty of fight left despite losing seven of its last eight games in Southeastern Conference play.
The Razorbacks (11-11, 2-7 SEC) hit the road to take on Alabama at 1 p.m. today at Coleman Coliseum. The Crimson Tide (14-8, 4-5) rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat Arkansas 83-76 almost a month ago in Bud Walton Arena.
Arkansas finished last in the SEC a year ago and was picked last by the coaches in a preseason poll this season. Neighbors said one thing his team for sure wanted was to finish higher than it was predicted.
“We don’t have a bunch of T-shirts printed up with our goals or what we’re shooting for,” Neighbors said. “But this group, from day one has been out to prove everybody wrong. They don’t want to finish last.
“When you finished last last year and were picked last, it’s an OK goal.”
Arkansas is currently tied with three other teams for next-to-last. Ole Miss is last at 1-8.
The Razorbacks have taken the time this week to do more individual skill work since they did not play on Thursday.
“It was good to get in the film room,” Neighbors said. “I think our legs are underneath us for this last little sprint.”
The Razorbacks must cut down turnovers and do more of what got them a lead against Alabama in the first meeting, Neighbors said.
“We gave up 31 points off turnovers and that’s unheard of for us,” Neighbors said. “In the first half, we got good shots, got to the foul line. We were very aggressive in attacking.”
Defensively, Arkansas will mix it up against the more physical Crimson Tide to try to disrupt their rhythm. Alabama was more aggressive late in the game and made 20 of 25 free throws in the fourth quarter to pull out the win.
The biggest thing Neighbors addressed following Arkansas’ 76-65 loss to Kentucky on Monday was a lack of effort during a six-minute stretch when the Wildcats took control.
“We were just disappointed in the six minutes that we didn’t play very hard,” Neighbors said. “It was very evident when you put it on the big screen in the film room in a big game that was a big game. A game at home back in front of Bud after being gone for so long.
“I didn’t think it would be an effort thing that would be our problem.They beat us in transition down the floor two or three times.”
Players and coaches spent longer in the dressing room after the game than they had all season talking about the issue, Neighbors said.
“I think we made some headway there and hopefully it will carry over to those things not happening,” Neighbors said. “No lack of effort moments at all at Alabama.”
WHEN 1 p.m. Central WHERE Coleman Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, Ala. RECORD Arkansas 11-11, 2-7 SEC; Alabama 14-8, 4-5 SERIES Arkansas leads 21-15 RADIO Razorback Sports Network INTERNET arkansasrazorbacks.com TELEVISION SEC Network
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS
ARKANSAS POS NAME, HT., YR. PPG RPG G Malica Monk, 5-5, Jr. 16.0 3.7 F Kiara Williams, 6-1, So. 7.7 7.4 G Jailyn Mason, 5-9, So. 10.5 4.0 G Devin Cosper, 5-10, Sr. 14.8 6.5 F Bailey Zimmerman, 6-0, Jr. 3.4 3.2 COACH Mike Neighbors (109-52 overall)
ALABAMA POS NAME, HT.,YR. PPG RPG G Jordan Lewis, 5-7, So. 8.4 3.8 G Hannah Cook, 6-0, Sr. 11.3 4.1 G Shaquera Wade, 6-0, Jr. 6.1 4.0 F Quanetria Bolton, 6-0, Sr. 6.2 4.1 F Ashley Williams, 6-0, Sr. 10.6 6.5 COACH Kristy Curry (387-222 overall)
Arkansas Alabama 67.3 Points for 67.6 71.1 Points against 60.2 -3.4 Rebound margin +4.4 +1.8 Turnover margin +1.7 36.5 FG pct. 40.4 28.6 3-pt FG pct. 29.2 67.3 FT pct. 71.6 CHALK TALK Senior Devin Cosper had a team-high 17 points in Arkansas’ last game, a 76-65 loss to Kentucky in Bud Walson Arena. … Cosper had her seventh double-double of the season with 24 points and 13 rebounds when the Razorbacks faced Alabama, almost a month ago. … Alabama sophomore guard Jordan Lewis has been more productive in Southeastern Conference play, averaging 10.6 points per game compared to 8.4 overall. … The Crimson Tide made 20 of 25 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter to rally for an 83-76 win in Bud Walton Arena earlier this season. … Arkansas committed 17 turnovers in the first meeting, the second most in a game this season, which led to 31 Alabama points. … Alabama, which trailed 55-50 after three quarters, scored 33 fourth-quarter points to defeat Arkansas on Jan. 7.
Print Headline: Arkansas women travel to Alabama