Lady'Backs Looking For More Offense

Off to its first 4-0 start in five years, you might think Arkansas would be happy with the way things are going so far.

Think again. While the Lady'Backs have been strong enough on defense to sprint out to their best start in the Susie Gardner era, its the offense which has Gardner still looking for answers. And because of some less-than-stellar performances from certain starters, Gardner will pay no attention to the perfect record when she makes several changes to the lineup today when Arkansas plays host to Wichita State. Tipoff in Bud Walton Arena is set for 7 p.m. "I think what it was, we're at Austin Peay and we score 10 points in 10 minutes," Gardner said. "And that was with what we thought was our best offensive team out on the floor. "So I thought we'd just shake (the starting lineup) up. It's nothing drastic, we just thought we'd mix it up." With senior guard Leslie Howard struggling to find her shooting touch — hitting just 4 of 27 shots total and 3 of 23 attempts from three-point range — she will be replaced in the starting lineup today, as will freshman guard Tanisha Smith and senior post Sarah Pfeifer. Pfeifer's move to the bench, more than anyone else, is proof that Gardner just wants to give other players an extra look. In four games, the senior is averaging 11.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. "This is a gamble, but maybe it will pay off," Gardner said. "Just because you're going to the bench doesn't mean you're getting demoted." Juniors Lauren Ervin and Brittney Vaughn will remain in the starting lineup, with senior Danielle Allen, sophomore Ayana Brereton and freshman Charity Ford inserted as the new starters. Allen, who has averaged 7.8 points and 4.0 rebounds off the bench this season, believes this new lineup will be able to produce offense in a different way. "From the offensive standpoint, hopefully our defense will bring our offense," Allen said. "If we continue to play good defense, our offense will come."

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