Two games against programs from sister campuses highlight the nonconference slate for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff women’s basketball team.
After a Nov. 9 season opener at H.O. Clemmons Arena against Louisiana’s McNeese State University, the Lady Lions will visit the University of Arkansas for the second straight year on Nov. 12 and play at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock on Nov. 16. Arkansas defeated UAPB 86-52 last Dec. 21.
The University of Southern Mississippi will host UAPB in a two-day tournament Nov. 26-27, the two days after Thanksgiving. UAPB will play Southern Miss on the first day and take on Southeast Missouri State University on the second.
Arkansas Baptist College will be the Lady Lions’ final home opponent on Nov. 29. The Lady Lions will then play at a tournament in Miami Dec. 3-4, although game specifics were not detailed in a news release.
“We strategically scheduled nonconference around in-state competition,” third-year Lady Lions Coach Dawn Thornton said in the release. “With the rise of HBCUs getting the notoriety they deserve, we want to display our brand. Recruits are interested in our program, and competing with the in-state rivals will be key for in-state recruitment. We have a few players on the team from Florida. The tournament in Miami allows them to play closer to home and family, as promised.” UAPB will finish the nonconference slate with games at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (Dec. 15), University of Central Arkansas (Dec. 21) and Southern Methodist University (Dec. 28).
UAPB will start Southwestern Athletic Conference play with home games against Alabama A&M (Jan. 3) and Alabama State (Jan. 5) universities. Texas Southern (Jan. 8) and Prairie View A&M (Jan. 10) universities will host the Lady Lions, who will then return to Pine Bluff to host Florida A&M (Jan. 15) and Bethune-Cookman (Jan. 17) universities.
That will be followed by a road trip to Southern (Jan. 22), Grambling State (Jan.
24) and Mississippi Valley State (Jan. 29) universities. Alcorn State (Feb. 5) and Jackson State (Feb. 7) universities will visit UAPB.
Three of the last seven games in the regular season will be at Clemmons Arena, but those games were not detailed.
“We tackled the offseason very well these past few months,” Thornton said. “We brought in some players that I think will bring excitement to the university, fans and community as a whole. There are so many new faces, and they all come ready to work.”