Lady Razorback schedule announced

Updated: August 25, 2003, 8:46 PM ET

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The Arkansas women's basketball season this year will be highlighted with home and home games with Tennessee and Ole Miss.

First-year coach Susie Gardner will have a chance to bring her team together early with a non-conference schedule, dominated by road trips.

"At first glance, it looks like we have more games on the road in the preseason than what the program has seen in the past," Gardner said Monday. "I look at it from the perspective that road games bring the team together."

They return two starters, senior Shameka Christon and sophomore Ruby Vaden, from last season's team. But the team has five newcomers along with an almost all-new coaching staff.

The Lady Razorbacks travel to Wichita State on Nov. 21 to open the season before returning to Bud Walton Arena for the home opener against Rice on Nov. 24.

Tennessee and Ole Miss replace South Carolina and Alabama as Arkansas' rotating Eastern and Western Division home-and-home partners in the SEC's 14-game schedule.

While Lady Razorback fans might miss the team in the fall with only two Fayetteville games, the schedule in the spring includes games at Walton Arena against LSU, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee.

"I'm not one that looks into the future and tries to see something into the schedule, but I do think the fans will enjoy the home games we have in conference play," Gardner said.

Along with new rotating partners in the SEC schedule, the Lady Razorbacks also visit a new site for their annual central Arkansas contest. Arkansas will play in Hot Springs at the newly finished Summit Arena against Northwestern State on Dec. 18.

The SEC-TV package picks up two of the Lady Razorbacks games this year -- Jan. 25 at Auburn and Feb. 15 at Alabama. Arkansas also has two more television games added later this fall.

The Ladybacks spend Thanksgiving week in Los Angeles at the Loyola Marymount Thanksgiving Classic on Nov. 28-29. Arkansas takes on Pac-10 member Oregon State in the opening round, then faces either Big East power Providence or the host LMU in the second round.

In the month of December, they will be on the road, starting Dec. 3 at Western Kentucky and followed by games at Texas Christian on Dec. 6 and Tulsa, Okla., on Dec. 9. They have a pair of holiday road games at Indiana on Dec. 20 and Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 28 before returning home for three non-conference games prior to SEC play.

Arkansas hosts McNeese State on Dec. 30 before taking on Memphis on Jan. 2 and Oklahoma State on Jan. 4.

Opening league play at Tennessee on Jan. 8, Arkansas returns home for Ole Miss on Jan. 11. The Lady Razorbacks have an open date in the SEC schedule before traveling to South Carolina on Jan. 18. Arkansas has three straight at home at the end of January, starting with LSU on Jan. 22 followed by Auburn on Jan. 25 and Vanderbilt on Jan. 29.

The schedule turns for Arkansas in February as the team finishes the season with four of its last six games on the road before the March 4-7 SEC Tournament in Nashville, Tenn.

Games dates, opponents, and times are:

--Nov. 11, 110 percent Club, 7 p.m.

--Nov. 17, Premier Players, 7 p.m.

--Nov. 21, at Wichita State, 7 p.m.

--Nov. 24, Rice, 7 p.m.

--Nov. 28-29, LMU Thanksgiving Classic, Los Angeles.

--Dec. 3, at Western Kentucky, 7 p.m.

--Dec. 6, at Texas Christian, 7 p.m.

--Dec. 9, at Tulsa, 7 p.m.

--Dec. 18, Northwestern State, Hot Springs, 7 p.m.

--Dec. 20, at Indiana Bloomington, 6:00 p.m.

--Dec. 28, at Stephen F. Austin, 2:00 p.m.

--Dec. 30, McNeese State, 7 p.m.

--Jan. 2, Memphis, 7 p.m.

--Jan. 4, Oklahoma State, 2:00 p.m.

--Jan. 8 at Tennessee, 6:00 p.m.

--Jan. 11, Ole Miss, 2:00 p.m.

--Jan. 18 at South Carolina, 1:00 p.m.

--Jan. 22, LSU, 7 p.m.

--Jan. 25, Auburn, 2:00 p.m.

--Jan. 29, Vanderbilt, 7 p.m.

--Feb. 1, at Mississippi State, 2:00 p.m.

--Feb. 8, Georgia, 2:00 p.m.

--Feb. 12, at LSU, 7 p.m.

--Feb. 15, at Alabama, 2:00 p.m.

--Feb. 19, Kentucky, 7 p.m.

--Feb. 22, at Florida, 2:00 p.m.

--Feb. 26, Tennessee, 7 p.m.

--Feb. 29, at Ole Miss, 2:00 p.m. ^------=

On The Net: www.ladybacks.com

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index