University of Arkansas women’s basketball coach Jimmy Dykes promised a tough non-conference schedule and he has delivered as the Razorbacks face four teams from last year’s NCAA Tournament in 2015-16.
The University of Texas, South Dakota State, Oregon State and Rutgers highlight the 13-game non-conference slate as Dykes moves into his second season at the helm. This season, Arkansas takes on six opponents away from their home arena with three true road games and three games at neutral sites. The Razorbacks were a perfect 6-0 in non-conference games away from Bud Walton Arena last season.
“We’ve put together a non-conference schedule that will test us and show both our strengths and weaknesses,” Dykes said. “This is exactly the kind of schedule I need to prepare for the always-tough SEC schedule in January. “It is a great balance with different kinds of teams, all of whom have unique skills that will challenge us. We have an extremely young team with eight newcomers and they will have to grow up quickly during the fall before we face the rigors of the SEC schedule.”
The season opens with an exhibition game against Missouri Southern Nov. 8. The Lady Lions are a familiar opponent for the Razorbacks in exhibition action with Arkansas winning six consecutive contests.
The first regular season game sees Arkansas host Southeastern Louisiana Nov. 13, in a game that is slated as the team’s Elementary Day, so fans can expect an early tip.
Arkansas continues hosting Sam Houston State Nov. 15, before facing the first of four NCAA Tournament teams in South Dakota State Nov. 18. That game is in Brookings, S.D. The Lady Jackrabbits upset Arkansas in Bud Walton Arena in the team’s first overtime game of the year and went on to earn a No. 14 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They were eliminated by No. 3 seed Oregon State in the first round.
Arkansas hosts Tulsa in a rematch from last year’s 64-53 road win for the Razorbacks on Nov. 23, before hitting the road for the San Juan Shootout, a Thanksgiving tournament where they face Louisiana-Lafayette and Oregon State. Lafayette tallied 16 wins last year and returns most of its roster while Oregon State was a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament and reached the second round. The Beavers had wins over powerhouses North Carolina and Stanford last season.
The Razorbacks open December with Missouri State, a team Arkansas defeated on the road, 59-50, last season. The Lady Bears had 18 wins a year ago. The third NCAA Tournament team on the non-conference schedule welcomes Arkansas to New Jersey, Dec. 6, when the Razorbacks travel to Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights were 23-10 last year with a 64-52 win over Arkansas in BWA. They advance to the second round defeating Seton Hall and falling to UConn.
December continues with a home game with Oral Roberts followed by a trip to Bulter before the Razorbacks face Texas in Oklahoma City, Okla., as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge Dec. 20. The Longhorns are quickly climbing back into the ranks as one of the top teams in women’s basketball.
Last season, Texas reached the third round of the NCAA Tournament and they return 13 players including four seniors from a year ago.
The non-conference schedule wraps up with home games against Mississippi Valley State Dec. 28, and New Orleans Dec. 30.
For more information on Arkansas women’s basketball, follow @RazorbackWBB on Twitter.
– Add Schedule -
2015-16 ARKANSAS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
DATE DAY OPPONENT
Nov. 8 Sunday Missouri Southern (exhibition)
Nov. 13 Friday Southeastern Louisiana
Nov. 15 Sunday Sam Houston State
Nov. 18 Wednesday @ South Dakota State
Nov. 23 Monday Tulsa
Nov. 27 Friday vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (San Juan Shootout)
Nov. 28 Saturday vs. Oregon State (San Juan Shootout)
Dec. 2 Wednesday Missouri State
Dec. 6 Sunday @ Rutgers
Dec. 10 Thursday Oral Roberts
Dec. 13 Sunday @ Butler
Dec. 20 Sunday vs. Texas (@ Big 12/SEC Challenge in Oklahoma City)
Dec. 28 Monday Mississippi Valley State
Dec. 30 Wednesday New Orleans