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Arkansas women face UCA in North Little Rock

by Paul Boyd | December 18, 2021 at 2:39 a.m.
Arkansas head coach Mike Neighbors reacts in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Connecticut, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

NORTH LITTLE ROCK -- The University of Arkansas women's basketball team may be traveling to North Little Rock a little shorthanded for today's 1 p.m. tip against the University of Central Arkansas at Simmons Bank Arena.

But Razorbacks Coach Mike Neighbors said he will remind them not to take the Sugar Bears for granted after a week of final exams.

Neighbors announced on a Zoom call Thursday that in addition to post players Erynn Barnum and Emrie Ellis, senior Amber Ramirez also won't be available for today's game because of an undisclosed injury. That leaves the Razorbacks (9-2), who have won three in a row, with 10 available players since junior Marquesha Davis decided to enter the transfer portal about two weeks ago.

But Arkansas has shown off its versatility and depth particularly over the past couple of games without Barnum and Ellis. Junior Destinee Oberg has turned in back-to-back solid efforts, including the first double-double of her career after playing limited minutes the past couple of seasons.

Junior Makayla Daniels leads the Razorbacks in scoring, averaging 13.6 points per game. But she's one of five averaging in double figures. But without Ramirez, who has started every game so far this season, it gives others an opportunity to shine, Neighbors said.

"Here's what I do know: Rylee Langerman won't shy from the opportunity," Neighbors said. "I know Elauna Eaton's been continuing to work and making steady progress ever since she's been cleared and had her best game the other night.

"This may be Ashlyn Sage's opportunity to do what Oberg's done."

The Sugar Bears (4-5) on paper look to be overmatched. UCA rolled over Central Baptist College 70-32 on Thursday, but lost 62-38 at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock two weeks ago. The Razorbacks crushed UALR 73-39 on Sunday.

"I'll show them plenty of places where people have come out of finals and lost games," Neighbors said. "I'll make sure they know not to underestimate anybody. But then you'll also turn the focus to the team you want to be is that team that doesn't care who you play, you play to that standard."

Neighbors said he was pleased UCA agreed to play in North Little Rock. It's a good thing for many reasons not the least of which is the chance to play a doubleheader with the Arkansas men's team, he said.

"It keeps our desire to have a presence in that part of the state as well as continue to play all the in-state schools," Neighbors said. "It's worked into a really nice rotation and it's a good time of the year where you don't have to travel very far.

"We see a different set of fans. ... I think it gives us a chance to be in a part of the state where not everybody gets the chance to see us a lot. There will be some recruits there that can't traditionally make it to this game. Even though we can't talk to them on that site, they can be there to see us play."

Arkansas has just one more nonconference game remaining after today. The Razorbacks host Creighton on Tuesday at 1 p.m. before the Christmas break. They open SEC play at 6 p.m. on Dec. 30 at Ole Miss.

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Arkansas women vs. Central Arkansas

WHEN 1 p.m. today

WHERE Simmons Bank Arena, North Little Rock

RECORDS Central Arkansas 4-5; Arkansas 9-2

SERIES Arkansas leads 2-0

TV None

RADIO Razorback Sports Network




G Randrea Wright, 5-7, Fr.;9.1;3.0

G Gloria Fornah, 5-10, Fr.;3.1;3.7

G Carley Hudspeth, 6-0 Sr.;6.0;2.0

F Lucy Ibeh, 6-0, Jr.;13.3;9.1

F Jayla Cody, 6-1, Fr.;5.8;4.3

COACH Sandra Rushing (171-113 in 10th season at UCA, 574-369 in 33rd season overall)



G Samara Spencer, 5-7, Fr.;10.3;2.3

G Sasha Goforth, 6-1, So.;11.3;5.3

G Rylee Langerman, 5-9, So.;3.5;2.8

G Makayla Daniels, 5-9, Jr.;13.6;5.4

F Jersey Wolfenbarger, 6-5, Fr.;6.4;3.6

COACH Mike Neighbors (87-52 in fifth season at Arkansas, 185-93 in ninth season overall)



56.3;Points for;79.0

60.0;Points against;59.9

0.2;Rebound margin;1.3

2.8;Turnover margin;6.1

41.6;FG pct.;42.7

27.4;3-pt pct.;33.4

64.7;FT pct.;68.9

CHALK TALK The two in-state schools squared off for just the second time and for the first time since 1978. Arkansas rolled 105-58 at Walton Arena in Fayettevlile a couple months shy of 42 years after the only other meeting — a 65-58 Razorbacks win atConway.

— Paul Boyd


Print Headline: UA women facing UCA shorthanded


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