Hogs to Play Two in Mississippi
The Razorback women’s basketball team will go on the road for their next two games at Ole Miss and Mississippi State on Thursday and Sunday, respectively. The Hogs lost their fifth conference game of the season Sunday to South Carolina.
“Being 2-5 and going out on the road for back to back games is a tough situation,” head coach Tom Collen said. “Winning road games in a major conference is pretty tough.”
The players are looking forward to the bonding time that will come from spending six days away from Fayetteville, as they will not return between the two games in Mississippi.
“It’s kind of nice; it feels like a day off,” senior Sarah Watkins said. “We will have a whole lot of time to spend with the team.”
After the trip to Mississippi, the Hogs face No. 8 Kentucky in Fayetteville on Feb. 7.
“You have to go one game at a time,” Collen said. “If we go down there and beat Ole Miss, that could propel us into a win against Mississippi State and then if you win both of those games, we come home and get another shot at a top 25 team.”
Three of the Razorbacks’ losses have been by a combined total of ten points, losing by three to Auburn, by four to Georgia, and by three to South Carolina.
“We all know that we’re a good team,” Watkins said. “But every night is a battle, and we’ve fallen short a couple times, but we know we have the potential to get wins.”
“I keep reminding them that we’re one or two baskets away in three games from being 5-2 and ranked in the top 20,” Collen said. “We’ve proven we can play with top 25 teams.”
Both Mississippi schools are 1-6 in SEC play and rank at the very bottom of the SEC standings.
“We have a couple of soft games coming up,” Collen said. “That is, if there is any such thing as a soft game in the SEC; but unfortunately for us, those games are on the road.”
Arkansas is 6-3 away from Bud Walton this season, including two SEC road losses.
“We’ve had some success on the road before and you have to get some of those wins if you want to give yourself a chance in March,” Collen said. “I think our team even plays better on the road, because they’re away from the classroom and all that pressure.”
The Razorbacks have averaged only 52 total points in their last four games, including putting up just 40 on South Carolina on Sunday.
“We have to learn how to score, but right now I’m trying not to panic since we’ve played against some of the best defenses in the country,” Collen said. “I’m trying to remain calm and not feel like we need to ditch what we’ve been doing altogether.”
The Razorbacks will have the chance to improve the season by traveling down to Mississippi this weekend to hopefully regain some confidence before facing Kentucky at home.
“I like my team; they’re pretty resilient,” Collen said. “I don’t think they’re ready to lay down and quit just yet.”