Sun Belt Conference Women’s Basketball: The Week Ahead
Five teams are tied for second place, with two more just one-half game behind those teams, as we head into another week of action in Sun Belt Conference women's basketball.
Heading into games this week, Arkansas St. leads the way, with a 5-1 league mark, with Louisiana, WKU, ULM, Georgia St. and Texas St. all tied for second place, at 3-2, while UALR and South Alabama are currently 3-3.
So, obviously, teams can do well for themselves, if they can come away with a big win, or two, this week.
Arkansas St., the league leaders, have only one game this week, and it's at home, as they play host to UALR on Saturday.
There are three games on Wednesday, with UALR hosting Texas St., WKU visiting ULM, and UT-Arlington playing host to Troy.
The UALR/Texas St. match-up should be a good one. It will be the second meeting between the two, with Texas St. winning the first time, 42-35, in San Marcos, Texas. The Trojans are very good at home, however. They're 6-1 on their home floor, with their only loss coming at the hands of nationally-ranked LSU, and have won three-straight at home.
Texas St., like UALR, relies on defense to win games, so points should be at a premium in this one.
WKU will be looking to rebound from their 67-64 home loss to Arkansas St. last Saturday, when they travel to Monroe, Louisiana on Wednesday night, to take on the ULM Warhawks.
The Lady Toppers, who have still won six of their last eight, will have to put that loss behind them real quick, with big road games at ULM and Louisiana this week.
ULM has certainly opened some eyes in the first few weeks of conference play. After going 4-8 in non-conference play, the Warhawks are 3-2 in the league, and only lost by two points, on the road, against South Alabama, in their last outing. A win over WKU would make even more people stand up and take notice.
UT-Arlington may be winless in conference, and they may have only one win overall, but the Mavericks are capable of beating anybody. Just look at a four-point loss to Arkansas St, a seven-point loss to UALR, a two-point loss to Louisiana, and an eight-point loss to Texas St. as evidence. They've been in most conference games, and capable of going on a little bit of a run, one which they hope begins on Wednesday night.
Troy, who won their first conference game of the year last Saturday, with an 87-75 win over Louisiana, has the conference's leading scorer, in Joanna Harden, who is averaging 24.8 points-per-game. She gives them a shot in any game they're involved in.
The UT-Arlington/Troy match-up will be a contrast of styles. Troy leads the league in scoring (79.8), while UT-Arlington ranks ninth (59.2).
The lone Thursday night game will have Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns hosting the Georgia St. Panthers.
Louisiana, who has won six of their last eight, plays three of their next four at home.
On the flip side, the Cajuns will play three of their last four games of the season on the road, including games against WKU and Arkansas St, so this week, and this stretch, could prove crucial.
Georgia St. has been inconsistent, defensively, but they've won two-straight, and will be looking to secure their longest win streak of the year with a win.
Five more big conference games are scheduled for Saturday, with ULM hosting Georgia St., Troy visiting Texas St., Arkansas St. hosting UALR, Louisiana hosting WKU, and South Alabama visiting UT-Arlington.
Arkansas St./UALR gets your attention right away. The Red Wolves are in first place, UALR just frustrates you with their defense, and the two schools are rivals.
Arkansas St. gets a full week to rest, and prepare for the Trojans, but this game should be a good one.
Louisiana, with three home games over their next four, has a chance to stay in the thick of things. In won't be easy however, as after they host WKU, they have to travel to UALR, and then host in-state rival ULM.
Then again, as we've seen this year in Sun Belt Conference women's basketball, nothing has been easy, or will be.