Game 1
Friday, Nov. 10 • Fayetteville, Ark. • 10:30 a.m. CT • Bud Walton Arena (19,200)
Sam Houston State (0-0, 0-0 Southland) at Arkansas (0-0, 0-0 SEC)
Live StatsSEC Network Plus@BearkatsWBB on Twitter
Sam Houston Game Notes
Arkansas Game Notes

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Sam Houston State will help tip off the NCAA Division I season on Friday morning.

The Bearkats face Arkansas at 10:30 a.m. from Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark., in the third Division I game of the 2017-18 season. Only Clemson-Kennesaw State and Jackson State-Millsaps get underway sooner, each with a 10 o’clock start time.

The matchup against the Razorbacks can be seen on the SEC Network Plus through ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. Fans can also follow @BearkatsWBB on Twitter for in-game updates.

Sam Houston State opens its 2017-18 season on Friday, looking to reverse course after finishing tied for 12th a season ago in the Southland Conference, posting a 3-25 overall record including 3-15 in league action. The squad went 0-10 in non-conference action.

The Bearkats return leading scorer Jenniffer Oramas (9.1 points per game), leading rebounder Lydia Baxter (6.6), leading three-point shooter Rachel Harrell (38) and leading blocker Kiera McKinney (38) among eight total letterwinners to this year’s squad.

Sam Houston is set to play its most home games in program history during 2017-18 with 15 total. The Kats will play four more games at Johnson Coliseum than a season ago.

Friday marks the second-straight season and third time in the last five years the Bearkats have opened their season at the Razorbacks. Sam Houston is 0-7 all-time against Arkansas and is searching for its first season-opening win since defeating UT-Tyler on Nov. 13, 2011. The Kats fell 71-39 a season ago in Fayetteville and were outscored by 19 in the first quarter.

Arkansas is under the direction of first-year head coach Mike Neighbors, who returns to his alma mater after four seasons at the helm of Washington. There, he took the Huskies to their first-ever Final Four as well as a pair of Sweet 16 appearances.

The squad returns three starters in Malica Monk, Jailyn Mason and Bailey Zimmerman from a team that went 13-17 overall and finished last in the SEC at 2-14 a season ago.

The Razorbacks return 58 percent of their scoring but are the only SEC team that doesn’t return a double-figure scorer from 2016-17. The squad welcomes six newcomers including four eligible to play this year. Among returners, Mason ranked first in assists (93), Monk was second in points per game (9.1) and Zimmerman was third in made 3-pointers (24).