Coming off an eight-game road trip in which their closest game was a 29-point loss, the Arkansas Pine Bluff women's basketball returns home with a 1 p.m. game today.
Coming off an eight-game road trip in which their closest game was a 29-point loss, the Arkansas Pine Bluff women’s basketball returns home with a 1 p.m. game today.
Problem is, the opposition doesn’t get any easier. UAPB will play host to Arizona, which will mark a historical day for the Lady Lions and UAPB.
“It is the biggest team that has come to Pine Bluff for a game,” UAPB coach Cary Shelton said. “At least, it is for basketball.”
The Lady Wildcats, out of the Pac-12 Conference, bring an 8-1 record to Pine Bluff and will face the 0-8 Lady Lions. Arizona’s only loss of the season was an 82-73 loss to BYU on Dec. 1. Since then, the Wildcats have won three straight games.
Most recently, Arizona beat Long Beach State 66-42 last Sunday.
For UAPB and Shelton, playing their seventh team from a Power-Six conference this season presents another chance to improve before SWAC play begins.
“We’re going to have a tremendous opportunity to host (Arizona),” Shelton said. “The athletic department is doing the best they can to make sure their stay is the best that it can be. We just want to come out and have a good showing.”
A good showing for UAPB starts with a few basic numbers, according to Shelton.
First, the coach would like to see his team allow no more than 60 points. In their first games of the season, the Lady Lions have surrendered more than 80 points. Against Texas on Tuesday, the Lady Lions lost a 79-40 decision.
Defensively, Shelton would like to see the Lady Lions compete for a full game against the Lady Wildcats.
“We’re trying to play defense for 40 minutes the right way,” Shelton said. “We just want to make sure we’re able to contain Arizona.”
Shelton also knows that UAPB will have to minimize its turnovers. Last Sunday, the Lady Lions committed 49 turnovers against Kentucky. In the game against Texas, that number came down to 31.
“We can’t survive turning the ball over 30 times,” Shelton said.
In an effort to cut down on turning the ball over, Shelton had the Lady Lions practice high intensity situations in practice this week.
“We just let them play (in practice), put them in full court situations,” Shelton said. “We put them in pressure situations. We’re just working on those things and everything that is going to help us get better.”