Arkansas expects electric women’s hoops atmosphere at Arkansas State on Friday

By Dudley E. Dawson
on 2023-11-17 10:01 AM


The Arkansas women’s basketball team knows full well what it is getting into Friday night in Jonesboro.

The Razorbacks (3-0) expect an electric atmosphere and sold-out crowd when they visit Arkansas State University (1-1) for a 7 p.m contest at First National Bank Arena The game will be televised by ESPN +.

This will be the the third straight season the two programs have played with Arkansas winning both – 94-71 in Jonesboro in 2021 and 77-63 in Fayetteville last season – and  holding a 7-3 all-time advantage in the series.

“It will prepare us a lot,” Arkansas head coach Mike Neighbors said. “We went over there already the fifst year and it was electric. I know the history and that’s why I love that game so much.

“It will be our first road game and that obviously is not ideal as I would love to have had one out of way and we know how to check into the hotel and we knew how all those things that come with it.

“If you look around the country, and I watched a lot of games last night, going on the road and the parity of the teams that are taking others deep late into the game and are winning games, this is the most I remember it happening early in the year.”

The Razorbacks are 13-0 against in-state women’s basketball foes since lifting a ban on playing other  Arkansas schools in 2019.

“I am glad we play the game, I’m glad it happens, I know it will be a packed house and it has our team’s full attention already and they are playing really well,” Neighbors said.

“I watched their last game and and it didn’t take many clips to get our team’s attention.”

The last time ASU won in the series was in a 2005 who the host Red Wolves won  98-84 in a WNIT second round match up.

“I say it, and I don’t say it jokingly, but they made a movie the last time they won that game,” Neighbors said.  “Made a movie out of it and I watched it and it’s good.

“I know a lot of people over the and they pull for the Razorbacks other than that game just like we pull for them. It will be fun one.” 

Arkansas State is led by junior guard Izzy Higginbottom, a former Batesville star who started her collegiate career at Missouri.

Higginbottom is averaging 26.5 points per game with a 31-point effort in a 75-62 win over Northern Illinois last Thursday after posting 22 points  in a 55-42 season-opening loss at South Dakota State.

“That to me, that kid and that spot, just with her confidence and her ability, I thought it was a perfect fit,” Neighbors said. “You always guard 23, somebody told me. She switched her number to 23 and you always guard 23. You have got to have some game to wear that number.”

“I watched in their last game against Northern Illinois…and she just dominated the game in the fourth quarter. And there are other piece around. It’s not just her…I think I counted three power 5 transfers and then you have got a lot of Arkansas kids.”

Photo by John D. James

(Last updated: 2023-11-17 10:01 AM)