UNLV, Arkansas Share Similar Records, Setbacks

FAYETTEVILLE -- There are some similarities between WNIT first-round opponents Nevada-Las Vegas (16-14) and Arkansas (16-13), besides their number of wins.

Both teams were picked to do better than they did in conference play, partly because injuries can't be foreseen.

UNLV, predicted to win the Mountain West Conference, came home fifth after its starting center was hurt in preseason.

The Lady'Backs, picked ninth in the Southeastern Conference, finished 11th after both of its experienced centers, 6-foot-1 Kristin Moore and 6-3 Ruby Vaden, suffered season-ending knee injuries.

The Lady Rebels and Lady Razorbacks, who meet at 7 p.m. Friday in Bud Walton Arena, both won a game in their respective conference tournaments, and both start "smallish" lineups.

UNLV is slightly bigger up front, with 6-1 forwards RanDee Henry and Sequoia Holmes shading 6-foot Arkansas forwards Sarah Pfeifer and Danielle Allen.

The Lady Rebels go 5-11, 5-7, 5-7 on the perimeter, compared to Arkansas' 5-9, 5-8, 5-7.

"They're still bigger than we are," UA coach Susie Gardner said. "But we've had four great practices this week. We've had six baskets up, and that's allowed us to shoot more. We've been able to break things down in practice and cover little details."

Gardner has revived some drills she hadn't used in awhile -- four-minute quick hitters -- including one or two in which she did some of the passing.

"We stood around a little more on Wednesday, because we started working on UNLV and that takes longer," she said. "We brought the guys practice team in today to give Sarah a break. But it's been a great week of practice in terms of productivity."

The Lady Rebels favor a motion offense, have few sets, and like to get out and run.

"Their 4 player, Holmes (8.4 average), is a face-up type," Gardner said. "Their guards are quick. Sheena Moore averages 14.7 points. They play primarily a man-to-man defense, but they use a full-court press, a three-quarter-court press and a half-court trap."

Arkansas has been off for two weeks, while UNLV has been idle for just one week since its league tournament.

"It seems like forever since we played," Gardner said. "We had confidence at the time we played in the SEC Tournament, but it might take us awhile to get back in the flow."

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