Back in the Day — Exhibition Games
During the 1980s, teams were allowed to practice away from campus, and Arkansas took full advantage of the rule to play numerous Red-White games across the state. Most of these were played in the former gyms of star Razorbacks, or near home towns of players like Tracy Webb (Batesville) or Bettye Fiscus (Wynne).
The Razorbacks played their first exhibition game in 1984 at the start of the NCAA era against a Korean touring team sponsored by Kolon.
Arkansas stepped up the quality of its exhibition opponent with national teams during the late 1980s, and went on the road to central Arkansas with a pair of games at the former high schools of current Razorbacks. The NCAA changed rules regarding off-campus games in the early 1990s, and all exhibition games returned to Fayetteville.
Twice Arkansas faced Olympic teams. The Razorbacks defeated the Spanish Olympians in 1990, but the most memorable game was against USA Basketball’s National Team in 1995. The core of the gold medal 1996 Atlanta Games team thumped the Razorbacks, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be a part of the special collegiate tour. Among the notables taking the floor were Lisa Leslie, Rebecca Lobo, Sheryl Swoops, Dawn Staley and Jennifer Azzi. It also is the only exhibition game ever played during the regular season — Dec. 12 — and made 1995 the only season with three exhibition games.
Until the late 1990s, most of the teams Arkansas faced were high-quality semi-pro teams from around the world, with the exception of the U.S.-based Athletes in Action. AIA made Fayetteville a regular stop on its women’s collegiate tour, and the Crusaders remain the team with the most games against Arkansas (8).
The quality of competition from overseas declined at the end of the 1990s, with some teams traveling junior squads filled with high school-aged players. The resulting blowouts, combined with the emergence of regional teams of American former collegians such as Everyone’s Internet, saw a decline of the foreign exhibition games that hit bottom with the events of 9/11 in 2001.
However, the greatest change in the exhibition game came in 2004 as the NCAA allowed Division I members to schedule non-Division I college teams as exhibition opponents. While a regular practice during the AIAW era, Arkansas played a non-Division I college with its two exhibition games scheduled for November 2005, taking on nearby Division II members Missouri Southern of Joplin and Cameron University from Lawton, Okla. This marks the first game against a lower division US collegiate team in over two decades (School of the Ozarks on Dec. 11, 2004).
Arkansas has existing series records with the new exhibition opponents, but new games against non-Division I teams will not count against those series marks.
Arkansas Team Records
Most Points: 109, vs. Spartak-Moscow (11/7/01); vs. Norrkoping (11/6/99)
Largest Margin: 57, vs. Spartak-Moscow (11/7/01)
Most Rebounds: 67, vs. Spartak-Moscow (11/7/01)
Most Assists: 24, vs. Norrkoping (11/6/99)
Best Field Goal Pct.: .623, vs. Mexico (11/11/86)
Best 3P Pct.: .400, vs. Northwestern State (10/23/09)
Best Free Throw Pct.: .833, vs. Mexico (11/11/86)
Most Steals: 20, vs. Cameron (11/6/05); Rogers State (11/4/12)
Most Turnovers: 31, vs. Australia (11/18/87)
Most Blocks: 11, vs. Missouri Southern (11/8/15)
Arkansas Individual Records
Most Points: 32, Juliet Jackson, vs. Australia. (11/18/89)
Most Rebounds: 16, Shelly Wallace, vs. Hungary (11/22/88)
Most Assists: 11, Calli Berna, vs. Missouri Southern (11/3/13)
Best Field Goal Pct.: (Min. 10 att.) .714 (10-14), Kelly Johnson,vs. AIA (11/5/94)
(Min. 5 att.) 1.000 (6-6), Lanell Dawson, vs. Mexico (11/11/86)
Best 3P Pct.: (Min. 10 att.): .600 (6-10) Wendi Willits, vs. Norrkoping (11/6/99)
Best Free Throw Pct. (Min. 4 att.): 1.000 (4-4) Dominique
Robinson vs. NW State (10/23/09); (4-4) Erin Gatling, Newman (11/2/11) .909 (10-11) Lonniya Bragg, vs. Norrkoping (11/6/99)
Most Steals: 7, Brittney Vaughn vs. Missouri Southern (11/4/06)
(Previous: 6, Brittney Vaughn vs. Cameron (11/6/05)
Most Turnovers: 9, Blair Savage, vs. Spanish (11/10/90)
Most Blocked Shots: 4, Stephanie Bloomer, vs. AIA (11/16/91); Kelsey Brooks, vs. Northeastern State (11/9/15); Jessica Jackson vs. Missouri Southern (11/8/15)
Opponent Team Records
Most Points: 101, USA National (12/12/95)
Most Rebounds: 51, Athletes in Action (11/16/91)
Most Assists: 27, USA National (12/12/95)
Best Field Goal Pct.: .564, AIA (11/16/91)
Best 3P Pct.: .583, DKSK Miskolc (11/16/94)
Best Free Throw Pct.: .909, Levski Total (11/16/93)
Most Steals: 19, USA National (12/12/95)
Most Turnovers: 40, Cameron (11/6/05)
Most Blocked Shots: 7, Spartak-Moscow (11/10/96)