UM women's basketball hosts UCA Sunday

Ole Miss (7-3) and Central Arkansas (5-4) will get together for a women's basketball game for the first time since 1982 and only the second time ever. The Rebels won the lone meeting 83-67 on Dec. 18, 1982.

Carol Ross says she hopes the overtimes are behind her team.

"Make that overtime losses," she continued. "I don't mind overtime games if we win them."

Last Tuesday night at Rutgers, the Rebels lost to the Scarlet Knights 89-84 in triple overtime. On Nov. 17 at Rice, Ole Miss fell 92-91 in double overtime.

The games were completely different. At Rice, Ole Miss missed 25 free throws in 46 attempts. At Rutgers they simply fell behind by 22 points and made a miraculous comeback in a difficult place to play against a quality opponent.

Either way they were both losses. And Ross hopes her 7-3 Rebels have put things behind them and are ready to face Central Arkansas on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Oxford - and win. In regulation, if possible.

"Anytime you lose close games, you always think back on what you could have done, a play along the way you could have called, a substitution you could have made," she said. "When you get beat badly, there are too many of those to think about. In close losses, you always think back. And I'm sure the players do the same thing.

"But if you learn from it and get better from it, it's better to learn from losses now and turn them into wins in SEC play," she continued. "It was a great game (at Rutgers). We know if we continue to use the toughness and physicalness we used (in the comeback) and don't get down 20 before playing like that, then certainly we can be a force."

Ross says the fact that her team came back from such a deficit does not surprise her.

"I never expected anything less," she said. "They have the toughness and the pride to fight back, and they did."

Senior guard Armintie Price said while she and her teammates are disappointed that they've lost a couple of extra period games, they know they've got to put those behind them and move on.

"It was tough," she said of the Rutgers loss. "We played hard and fought hard. We felt like it was our game. We finally started clicking and we picked it up."

But that's in the past, and Central Arkansas is up next.

"We have to come out ready to roll again," Price said. "We think we should have won those games, and now we just have to take all the energy and put it on beating Central Arkansas."

The UCA Bears (5-4) have won five of their last six games and are coming off of an 81-67 win over Xavier (La.).

Senior forward Caronica Randle, the team's leading scorer, had 21 points to lead UCA over the Gold Nuggets. The Forrest City, Ark. native shot 6-of-14 from the field, 3-of-5 from three-point range and had eight rebounds. Junior forward Sharece Love added 10 points and three steals and senior guard Renita Dobbins scored 11 points, all at the free throw line, and dished out 9 assists.

The Bears currently lead the Southland Conference in scoring (73.7 ppg) and assists (15.8 apg). Dobbins ranks second in assists (5.2) and third in steals (3.0 spg). Against XU, head coach Checola Seals-Horton recorded her 50th win at the helm of the UCA program. In her third season, Seals-Horton is 50-22 (.694) and is the second winningest coach in UCA history, behind Ron Marvel (489).

The next action following Sunday's game for Ole Miss will be Thursday in Oxford against Miami (Fla.). Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. Admission to all is free.

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