Lady'Back Shuffle Lineup, Again

FAYETTEVILLE -- With junior center Kristin Moore sidelined for the season by a knee injury, Arkansas will start a reshuffled lineup in its Southeastern Conference home opener against Florida tonight in Bud Walton Arena.

Ruby Vaden, a 6-foot-3 junior who was named to the Preseason All-SEC Second Team, makes her first start of the season for the Lady Razorbacks (10-2, 0-1 SEC).

Florida (9-4, 0-0 SEC) graduated All-SEC center Vanessa Hayden last season, but still has two formidable inside starters in 6-2 juniors Bernice Mosby (15.1 ppg) and Brittany Davis.

Moore suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee during a 66-54 win over Cincinnati on Sunday. She will be evaluated by team doctors next week for treatment, but is out for the year.

The Gators, who will likely press and play a fast tempo, are dealing with an injury of their own. In mid-December their No. 3 scorer, guard Danielle Santos, suffered a stress fracture of her right foot.

Arkansas will further adjust its lineup by starting 5-8 senior guard Adrienne Bush for the second time this season, along with guards Kristin Peoples and Rochelle Vaughn.

Bush, a disruptive defender, will be asked to help contain Florida guards Tamia Williams (10.2 ppg), Sarah Lowe and Tishona Gregory.

Peoples and Vaughn scored 18 points each in an 82-68 UA win over Florida at Gainesville, Fla., last season -- Arkansas' second straight win over the Gators and third in four tries. Florida, though, still leads the series 13-4.

Lady Razorbacks coach Susie Gardner said the loss of Moore hurts on several counts.

"She's our best post defender and post passer," Gardner said. "She has great hands and is a consistent rebounder. I could always count on Kristin for 7 to 10 points and 6 to 8 rebounds a game. She's one of a handful who come to practice early and I love coaching her; she's a sponge. She doesn't over-react or under-react."

Moore hurt her knee in the second half against Cincinnati on Sunday, in a game Arkansas won comfortably after trailing 29-22 at halftime.

"We played one of our poorer first halves, but once again our defense came through," Gardner said.

Arkansas is causing 28.5 opponent turnovers per game, and averaging 16.8 steals per contest, with Peoples' 2.9 steals per game leading the way.

Georgia, however, beat Arkansas at its own defensive game in a 78-57 drubbing of the Lady'Backs last week.

"We proved against Georgia what happens when you don't come out fired up," Gardner said. "We got behind 12-0 early, and it's hard to play catch-up, physically and emotionally. We have to not dig that big a hole anymore."

Florida augments its solid post play with a 1-2-1-1 full-court press and a quick-trapping defense.

"Their press is different from ours, but it's very good," Gardner said. "Florida is a team we need to play well against."

Gardner gave the Lady'Backs a passing grade for their 10-1 nonconference record so far, but she acknowledged, "We still have a lot of question marks, and now we have this injury to Moore. I'll have to rethink my game plan. I've been so tunnel-visioned about our lineup."

Florida comes in riding a three-game winning streak.

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