Basketball

Southern Arkansas looks for improvement at the end of a dismal season for women's basketball.

Southern Arkansas’ women’s basketball team faces a pair of in-state opponents for the last time this season as they host Arkansas-Monticello before hitting the road to take on Ouachita Baptist.

SAU is coming out of a weekend where it dropped games to Henderson State and Arkansas Tech.

The Muleriders start the weekend off by hosting rivals Arkansas-Monticello. The Blossoms are 5-16 on the season and 4-12 in GAC play. The Blossoms are currently in the midst of a six-game losing streak, dropping home contests last weekend to Harding and Henderson State by a combined 18 points.

The Muleriders' lone conference win this season came in Monticello, a 62-56 game in which Mackenzie Johnson led all scorers with 19 points as the Blossoms went 0-8 from three-point range.

For the season, Johnson leads the team in scoring at 16.9 points per game, fifth-most in the GAC. Johnson also leads the conference in field goal percentage, shooting 63 percent from the field; Johnson is sixth in the conference in minutes played, averaging 33.0 minutes per game.

This meeting between the Blossoms and the Muleriders is also a meeting of the two lowest-shooting three-point teams, with the Blossoms ranked 11th (28.2 percent) and the Muleriders, 12th (27.2 percent). The Blossoms are led in rebounding by Berniezha Tidwell at 5.3 rebounds per game, with Johnson and Chari Swift both at five rebounds per game. Following this game, the Blossoms travel to Russellville to take on Arkansas Tech.

The Ouachita Tigers are 6-16 on the season and 4-12 in conference play. The Tigers are in the midst of a three-game skid, losing to Southern Nazarene, Arkansas Tech and Harding. The Tigers take on the Reddies on Thursday before hosting the Muleriders on Saturday. The last time these two teams met, the Tigers were victorious over the Muleriders 67-55 with Madison Brittain's 22 points leading the Tigers onto victory. Brittain is one of three players to average ten or more points per game, with Alivia Huell leading the team with 13 points per game; Brittain is next with 12.7 points per game; and, Eden Crow is averaging 10.2 points per game. The Tigers, as a team, rank in the top five in blocked shots and assists. Huell is in the top five in the conference for blocked shots with 0.8 per game, and Brittain is second in the GAC in minutes played, averaging 35.5 minutes per game.

The Muleriders are 2-20 on the season and 1-15 on the season, with their lone conference win coming in Monticello against the Blossoms. Lena Maledon was the top scorer for the Muleriders with 14 points as the Muleriders shot 66.7 percent from three. Against the Tigers, Brette Wacha and Camryn Fennell were the leading scorer with 13 points each, and Alyssa Crase recorded a double-double - however, the Tigers shot 55.6 percent from three compared to the Muleriders' 28 percent.

Ariana Guinn leads the team in scoring with 10.5 points per game; Wacha leads the team in assists; and Crase leads the team in rebounding, with Maggie Evans and Erin Brinkley lead the team in steals and blocks, respectively.

After this weekend, the Muleriders will hit the road for their third and final Oklahoma trip of the season to take on Southeastern Oklahoma in Durant and East Central in Ada.

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