Women's Basketball

Neighbors replaces Vanderbilt with powerhouse Uconn in Bud Walton

Mike Neighbors hinted earlier this week that he might have a big name addition to Arkansas’ schedule with Vanderbilt cancelling and he delivered.

Mike Neighbors hinted earlier this week that he might have a big name addition to Arkansas’ schedule with Vanderbilt cancelling it’s season.

He delivered.

Connecticut will come to Bud Walton Arena on Jan. 28. The game will tip off at 4 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2.

“We entered this season knowing cancellation of games could be a possibility, so we started early conversations with our friends in the game that had a similar desire to play the best competition possible with covid protocols in mind,” Neighbors said in a press release Wednesday afternoon. “When Vanderbilt opted out of the season Monday, we were lucky enough that UConn had a common open date as ours. A few texts and a couple of calls later, we got it all set.

“We are so proud of our team for wanting to play against the best teams in the country. They embrace the challenge of playing against the team that has set the standard for play in our game over the last 25 years.

“We are thrilled for our fans, too. They get to see another high-quality matchup inside Bud Walton Arena. Thanks to our administration for providing our student-athletes the opportunity to make a game of this magnitude happen so quickly.

“Coach Auriemma has been nice to me since my first year in college basketball and we can’t thank him and his staff enough for making this game happen.”

UConn, currently ranked third in the Associated Press Poll, represents the second top-five non-conference game on the Hogs’ schedule this season after hosting Baylor on Dec. 6.

Arkansas won its game against the Lady Bears, 83-78.

With the addition of the Huskies to their schedule, the Razorbacks have now played every national champion since the turn of the century except for Notre Dame (Baylor, 2019, 2012, 2005; South Carolina 2017; UConn 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2010, 2009, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2000; Texas A&M, 2011; Tennessee, 2008, 2007; Maryland, 2006).

The Huskies are currently undefeated, sporting a flawless 8-0 record so far this season.

The Hogs and the Huskies have only squared off one other time, a 100-64 road win for UConn back in November of 1998. Both teams were ranked in that matchup as well — Arkansas came into the game ranked 18th, while the Huskies were ranked third.

There is an Arkansas connection for UConn, as starting guard Christyn Williams hails from Little Rock, playing her high school ball at Central Arkansas Christian.

The trip to the Natural State for the Huskies will be a homecoming for the 5-11 junior.

Information from Arkansas Communications is included in this story.

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