No Rest For Lady'Backs After Long Break

FAYETTEVILLE — For the last week, the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks have taken a break from their red-hot start. But after a seven-day layoff during Christmas, these Lady'Backs better be ready to turn the switch back on in a hurry.

Or else. Off to a record-tying school best 13-1 start, Arkansas has a chance to break the previous record — set first in 1995-96 — with just one more win. But if you think a 14-1 mark will come easy, think again, as the Lady'Backs return from a long layoff with a tough test today against Cincinnati. Tipoff for today's game is set for 7 p.m. in Bud Walton Arena. "Cincinnati has got a great team," Arkansas senior Sarah Pfeifer said. "We can't overlook them." And don't expect the Lady'Backs to overlook the Bearcats (9-2), especially when they take one glance at Cincinnati's resume thus far. While the Bearcats haven't posted any eye-opening victories yet this year, there is a 67-62 loss on the road at No. 15 Louisville which catches Arkansas' attention in a hurry. "If you're just looking at their schedule, you see an undefeated Louisville team and they played them down to the wire on the road," Arkansas coach Susie Gardner said. "That proves they can play with anybody in the country." The Lady'Backs have also gained national attention with its play so far, climbing to No. 23 in the latest Associated Press poll. Coming off a long break, though, does cause some concern. "It's the same kind of anxiety I had after exams," Gardner said. "You're playing well, working hard and then you have this break. "It gets you out of your routine, so I always get a little concerned when we have Christmas break." Another concern for Gardner is the health of junior point guard Brittney Vaughn. After suffering a hip injury at Memphis on Dec. 18, Vaughn was noticeably slowed down by the injury in Arkansas' 75-54 win against Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 20. But despite being unable to go at full-speed in Wednesday's practice, Gardner said Vaughn is still scheduled to be in the starting lineup. "That was an intense thing she was dealing with," Gardner said. "It will just take some time." Arkansas is looking to improve to 6-0 in Walton Arena with a win and, of course, also looking for that school-best start. Not that these Lady'Backs are paying attention to that. "At the end of the (Stephen F. Austin) game, coach Gardner told us we had set the record," Pfeifer said. "Before that, we didn't know anything about it." Following today's game, the Lady'Backs will have one final tune-up before Southeastern Conference play begins, visiting St. Louis on Saturday.

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