Sugar Bears ASUN Conference schedule announced

CONWAY — A new season dawns for the University of Central Arkansas women’s basketball team, as the Sugar Bears join the ASUN Conference in announcing the 2022-23 schedule. With a nonconference schedule that features some heavy hitters, followed by the second year in the ASUN, UCA gears up for a competitive slate for Head Coach Sandra Rushing’s 11 season.

Coach Sandra Rushing prepares for her 11th Season.

“This year is the first time since COVID that we are able to play a full non-conference schedule and we are excited to compete against some good regional programs. I feel like our non-conference schedule will help prepare us for the competition we will face in the ASUN,” Rushing said of the schedule. “The ASUN is a very competitive conference with great players and great coaches. You have to bring your A game every night in the ASUN, and that’s what we’re going to strive to do.”

The Sugar Bears waste no time introducing its young roster to the rigors of Division I hoops, tipping off the season with a road game at Kansas State on Nov. 7. Starting the season against a Power 5 school for the fourth-straight year, UCA takes on a Wildcats team that finished 20-13 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Following up Kansas State, the Sugar Bears head to Fayetteville for another battle with the Razorbacks on November 11. After a brutal SEC schedule last season, Arkansas made the NCAA Tournament for a second-straight year.

After the two road games to open the year, UCA will host Lindenwood for its home opener on Nov. 15. A first-time opponent, Lindenwood will serve as an excellent opportunity to show Bear Nation the new signing class at the Farris Center. After taking on Louisiana Monroe on the road, the Purple and Gray are back at home to take on the Hendrix Warriors on Nov. 26 before heading back out to face Alcorn State.

December opens with the annual Governor’s I-40 Showdown against Little Rock on Dec. 3. A road game at Tulsa continues to put challenges in front of the Sugar Bear roster in preparation for the ASUN schedule in January, as the team closes 2022 and the nonconference slate with home games against Champion Christian and Alabama A&M.

The conference portion of the schedule takes off in full stride to start the New Year, with the Sugar Bears hosting the No. 1 seed from the ASUN West last year, Jacksonville State, on Jan. 2. A few days later, on Jan. 5, the Purple and Gray head out to battle the Liberty Flames for the team’s first ASUN road game. Liberty finished last season with a 28-5 record, advancing to the second round of the WNIT.

From there, the Sugar Bears will play 15 more conference games, eight home games and seven on the road. With some new faces joining the conference this season, the Sugar Bears will play home games against ASUN newcomers Austin Peay (Jan. 19) and Queens (Feb. 11). Central Arkansas will close the regular season with a pair of home games against North Florida and Jacksonville on Feb. 23 and 25, respectively, with one last road game on March 1 at Austin Peay. The ASUN Tournament will start on March 4, running through the 11 of the month.