FAYETTEVILLE, Ark — Arkansas Women’s Basketball released its 10-game 2020 non-conference schedule today, as announced by Head Coach Mike Neighbors. Neighbors’ fourth season on the bench for the Razorbacks officially tips off on November 25th, as the Hogs will open the 2020-21 season against Oral Roberts.
“Challenging your team with an appropriate schedule is always a priority,” Neighbors said. “Every year it’s a complex puzzle. Factor in the challenges of COVID-19 protocols, and it’s like building a 1,000 piece puzzle without knowing what the picture looks like. On top of that, it feels like every day you begin where you left off, and someone has hidden the pieces. That’s what Associate Head Coach Todd Schaefer’s mornings have been like since March. When you have high expectations for your team, you try and provide them with opportunities to play against the best competition possible. Even with all of the challenges COVID presented, we were able to accomplish that. Coach Schaefer worked daily with our administration to ensure we can do everything as safely as possible to give our student athletes the chance to compete.”
A year after a non-conference schedule loaded with home games, the Razorbacks will play a much more balanced schedule in 2020, playing five games at Bud Walton Arena, three games at the Gulf Coast Showcase in Fort Meyers, Fla., and playing two true road games. Additionally, with the full schedule now released, Arkansas will play seven games versus teams ranked above it in the AP Poll, five games versus former National Champions, and 16 games versus NCAA Tournament teams from the last three seasons.
Immediately following the opener against Oral Roberts, the Hogs will head to the Gulf Coast Showcase, a tournament in which Neighbors’ Hogs will be tested right away. Arkansas opens the tournament with Wake Forest (Nov. 27), one of three Power Five teams in the event. They follow that up with a showdown against Florida Gulf Coast (Nov. 28), one of four teams in college basketball to win at least 30 games a year ago. The Hogs close the tournament out by facing Maryland (Nov. 29), who is ranked two spots ahead of Arkansas in the AP’s Preseason Poll, at No. 12.
Following the trip to Florida, Arkansas will play two straight at home the following week. The homestand begins with Louisiana Monroe (Dec. 3), and ends with Baylor (Dec. 6), Arkansas’ draw in the 2020 SEC/Big 12 Challenge and the No. 4 team in the AP’s Preseason Poll. The Lady Bears are the defending National Champions, as the postseason in 2020 was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Hogs will then alternate road and home games the rest of the way. Following the Baylor game, Arkansas will hit the road to take on SMU (Dec. 9). After that, it will be all in-state opponents for the Hogs, as they will host Central Arkansas (Dec. 13), travel to face Little Rock (Dec. 19) before closing out the non-conference slate at home against Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Dec. 21).
2020 Non-Conference Schedule:
Wednesday, Nov. 25 – Oral Roberts – 11 a.m.
Friday, Nov. 27 – Wake Forest (Gulf Coast Showcase) – 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, Nov. 28 – Florida Gulf Coast (Gulf Coast Showcase) – 1:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 29 – Maryland (Gulf Coast Showcase) – 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 3 – Louisiana Monroe – 7 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 6 – Baylor (SEC/Big 12 Challenge) – 2 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 9 – @ SMU – 7 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 13 – Central Arkansas – 2 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 19 - @ Little Rock – 2 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 21 – UAPB – TBA
TV designations will be announced at a later date.