The Razorback women’s basketball team (11-11, 2-7) will head to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Sunday looking to avenge their 83-76 loss to the Crimson Tide (14-8, 4-5) that occured Jan. 7.
Both teams come into the matchup in desperate need of a win. The Hogs’ start to their conference season has not been a kind one, as they are on a four-game losing streak. Similarly, the Tide have lost four out of their last five. Both rosters find themselves near the bottom of the Southeastern Conference table, as Alabama sits at No. 8 out of 14 and Arkansas sits at No. 11.
Alabama’s second-leading scorer, senior forward Ashley Williams, dropped 17 points and had seven rebounds against the Hogs in their last encounter. Since then, Williams has gone on to lead the team in scoring two more times and leads the Tide in rebounds per game with 6.5.
As for the Hogs, graduate guard Devin Cosper and junior guard Malica Monk combined for 45 of Arkansas’ 76 points against Alabama.
Cosper was undoubtedly the Hogs’ best player before she suffered an ankle injury against Georgia on Jan. 11 and missed the next three games as a result. The Coffeyville, Kansas, native, who already had seven double-doubles at the time of her injury, returned to the court Jan. 25 in the Hogs’ loss to South Carolina.
In Cosper’s absence, Monk has been the one picking up the slack for the Hogs offensively, averaging 14.5 points over the last six games.
Monk is leading the Hogs in scoring, with sophomore guard Jailyn Mason not far behind with 10.4 points per game. Sophomore forward Kiara Williams has been an asset for the Hogs on both sides of the floor, averaging 7.8 points and 7.4 rebounds a game.
Alabama’s not exactly the best offensive team around, but the Tide makes up for their offensive shortcomings with defensive tenacity. Alabama’s scoring defense ranks at No. 6 in the SEC and No. 68 nationally, allowing only 59.8 points per game.
That does not bode well for a Razorback team heading into Tuscaloosa with a scoring offense that is third-to-last in the SEC and No. 144 in the country. The Hogs score an average of 67.4 points per game, according to stats from the NCAA.
Scoring from the three-point line could help the Hogs score against Bama’s tough defense, but unfortunately for the Hogs, the three ball has hurt more than helped. The Razorbacks are the No. 15 team in the country in three pointers attempted with 548. That sounds promising for any team, but the Hogs rank a dismal No. 273 in three-point percentage with only 28.5 percent of their threes finding the net, according to the NCAA stat log.
The game will tip off at 1 p.m. and will air live on the SEC Network.