BY DUDLEY E. DAWSON
One way to move up the Associated Press women’s college basketball poll is to keep beating the teams ahead of you.
That’s what No. 17 Arkansas (13-0) will try to do when it faces No. 16 Oregon (9-1) Tuesday at 3 p.m. CST in the four-team San Diego Invitational, which will be held at Pechanga Arena and televised by Flo Hoops.
The Razorbacks, who grabbed an 83-75 road win at then 16th-ranked and now No. 21 ranked Creighton on Saturday, would be in line to play No. 3 Ohio State (11-0) in the championship game Wednesday at 5:30 if both teams win.
The Lady Buckeyes, who join Arkansas as one of only 10 unbeaten teams in the country, face South Florida (10-3) Tuesday at 5:30 CST in a tournament that boast teams with a combined record of 43-3.
“I was just telling the kids that it is the most wonderful time of the year when you are done with finals and all you have to do is concentrate on basketball, sleeping, eating right and ballin’ for about three weeks to a month,” Neighbors said. “…Ohio State, South Florida and Oregon are some of the best teams in the country, too.”
Oregon, which has won it last two games by 114 points, will come into the tournament off a 97-33 win over the College of Charleston on Sunday.
“That was about as good of basketball as we’ve played here, since I’ve been here,” Oregon Coach Kelly Graves said after the win. “Everybody was involved, everybody was touching it, everybody was playing well. We got out in transition. Our defense was on point. That was a great stretch of basketball.”
The win at Creighton was a big boost for Arkansas, which was ranked 21st last week and flew to the West Coast still undefeated right after its victory.
“I like where we are at, I like that we played the games that we did,” Neighbors said. “ I think it prepared us for this little road trip before Christmas. I know where we are at right now, but we are really going to know where are by the time we go to Christmas break.”
Photo by John D. James