Allen Happy To Be Back

FAYETTEVILLE -- With 12 minutes, 38 seconds left to play in the opening half of Arkansas' 74-44 win against Texas-Pan American, the 1,903 Lady'Backs' fans assembled inside Bud Walton Arena on Sunday let out perhaps their loudest roar of the day.

There was no big 3-pointer to bring the crowd to their feet. No swift steal and lay-up on the other end for an easy Arkansas bucket which drew the applause.

Instead, the crowd was cheering the return of Danielle Allen.

"It was really exciting and fun," Allen said. "Just being on the bench right now is exciting for me.

"I missed it, and I never realized how much I would miss it."

Allen sat out the first semester after giving birth to her son, Caden, back in October. While she was working out on her own during the fall hoping to one day rejoin the team, Allen admitted being back in action Sunday -- just two months after giving birth -- was a surprise.

"I knew that I wanted to be back (this soon) but I didn't think that I would," Allen said. "Me practicing with the team the last couple of days got me in better shape than running on my own."

While the crowd just loved having Allen back, it was a charging call Allen took with 9:28 left in the first half that her teammates and coaches smiling the most.

"You saw tonight, it was the same old Danielle," said Lady'Backs guard Adrienne Bush. "She gets out there and takes that charge, that was great.

"I think it was a little of both why we were so happy. We were happy to have 'D' back and we were happy to be playing well."

And Allen was just happy to be back.

"Honestly I just wanted a chance (to play)," Allen said. "And she gave me more than a chance, so I'm very grateful for that."

Milestone Reached

While she may have a ways to go to match Pat Summitt's NCAA Division I record, Arkansas coach Susie Gardner did reach a number to be proud of, winning her 150th game as a head coach when the Lady'Backs defeated Nicholls State on Thursday.

At Arkansas, Gardner is now 39-30 as she is in the middle of her third year as coach. The rest of Gardner's Division I wins came while at Austin Peay, where she compiled a 112-92 record from 1998-2003.

Up Next

Arkansas is back in Bud Walton Arena on Wednesday when it hosts New Orleans at 7 p.m. in the final pre-Christmas game on the schedule. The Lady Privateers (2-6) have played two of the same teams who also appear on the Lady'Backs' schedule, losing to Nicholls State, 55-51 and dropping a 72-41 decision at LSU. Arkansas defeated Nicholls State, 75-40, and will play LSU twice when SEC play begins.

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