Seniors Look To Break Losing Streak

FAYETTEVILLE -- For six Arkansas Lady Razorbacks, today's game against Georgia is a little extra special.

Because when Rochelle Vaughn, Kristin Moore, Adrienne Bush, Kristina Andjelkovic, Sheree Thompson and Melissa Hobbs run through that big Lady'Backs tunnel inside Bud Walton Arena tonight, it could be for the last time.

You guessed it. For these six Lady'Backs, today's game brings roses, cheers and even tears as Arkansas says goodbye to six upperclassmen on Senior Night.

For some, the day is a reason to celebrate. For others, nothing but sadness.

"Lately it has been hitting me because this is not the way I wanted my senior year to end," said Moore, who along with Vaughn are the only two seniors who have been at Arkansas each of the last four seasons. "I can't say I'm excited about it and I can't say I'm sad. I'm kind of in between."

Moore, Vaughn and redshirt junior Sarah Pfeifer were recruited together four years ago and are the only holdovers from Arkansas' last NCAA Tournament team in 2002-03. Since then four other seniors have joined up to form the current class. Bush transferred from Southwest Missouri State after one season. Andjelkovic arrived after a stint at Chipola College. Thompson came from Northwest-Shoals JC. And Hobbs transferred to the UA from Colorado.

Together, though, the six say goodbye at 7 p.m. tonight when the Lady'Backs host No. 13 Georgia in Bud Walton Arena.

"It is not your typical (senior class)," said Arkansas coach Susie Gardner. "You have only Ro and Moore who are actually here for four years. Then you have Sheree who should have graduated last year but tore her ACL and is here an extra year.

"Then you've got a junior college transfer from Serbia (Andjelkovic), a midterm transfer from Colorado (Hobbs) and then another transfer from SMS (Bush). So it's not your typical (class)."

With six straight losses heading into today's game, Arkansas' hopes of even an Women's NIT bid appear to be fading unless it can somehow manage to turn things around in the final week of the regular season. And turning the ship the right way is exactly what these seniors have in mind as they prepare for a very talented group of Lady Bulldogs (18-7, 8-4).

"I don't think I'm going to think about (this last home game) until after the season," said Vaughn. "I'm just going to concentrate on beating Georgia. If we can finish 7-7 (in the SEC) and win a game or two in the conference tournament, then we've got a shot of making the NCAA Tournament.

"That's our goal right now."

Beating Georgia won't be easy, though. Not only have the Lady Bulldogs played both Tennessee and LSU down to wire -- twice each -- they also feature the nation's best set of guards, according to Gardner.

"I think coach (Andy Landers) has done a really outstanding job coaching this year," said Gardner, who played for Landers at Georgia from 1982-86. "In August he had a great team but then they had to deal with some adversity, some injuries and things like that.

"In my opinion, though, he's got the best four guards -- as a group -- in the country."

Senior Sherill Baker, the SEC's all-time steals leader, paces Georgia's backcourt while 6-3 sophomore Tasha Humphrey (20.0 ppg, 9.1 rpg) causes problems in the paint.

Still, Arkansas isn't backing down.

Especially on Senior Night.

"I don't think this could get any better," Moore said. "Senior Night, postseason is coming and we need the wins.

"I don't think it could get any better than this."

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