ARK WBB exhibition game 11/5/21

Junior Makayla Daniels dribbles down the court during Friday’s exhibition game against Arkansas-Fort Smith. The Razorbacks prevailed 114-55 in their lone preseason contest.

The Razorback women’s basketball team beat Arkansas-Fort Smith 114-55 Friday in the Razorbacks’ first and only exhibition game before the regular season begins Wednesday.

Arkansas came out strong in the first quarter and went into the second with a 30-13 lead. Senior guard and preseason second-team All-Southeastern Conference selection Amber Ramirez led the way with eight points in the opening quarter, shooting 3-3 from the field.

Arkansas continued the trend going into halftime and went into the locker room up 63-32. Freshman guard Samara Spencer had an impactful second quarter. She led the Hogs in the period with eight points, shooting 3-5 from the field and 1-1 from the free throw line.

In the third quarter, UAFS went into a 2-3 zone to slow the Razorbacks, but Arkansas was unfazed by the change in defense and went into the fourth quarter with a 93-46 lead.

Friday was a showcase for some highly-touted fresh Razorback faces. Each player on the roster logged at least five minutes, but there were a few standouts.

Fayetteville native and sophomore guard Sasha Goforth impressed in her first action in an Arkansas uniform. Goforth transferred to the Hogs after a stellar freshman season at Oregon State during which she earned an All-Pac-12 freshman team selection.

Goforth was a five-star and consensus top-25 recruit out of high school and showed why in front of her hometown crowd. She led the team with 17 points, shot 6-9 from the field and hit 2-4 shots from 3-point range.

“Sasha’s versatility jumps out at you,” Arkansas head coach Mike Neighbors said in the postgame press conference. “She is such a tough matchup with everything she can do.”

Spencer also played well in her Arkansas debut. The speedy Spencer has a great handle and can finish at the rim with either hand. She has a streaky jump shot but appeared to have a veteran level of court vision Friday. Spencer will likely be a leading offensive force for the Razorbacks moving forward after producing 16 points, shooting 6-14 from the field and 2-6 from three in 20 minutes.

“There were definitely some nerves coming out as a freshman, this being my first collegiate game and everything,” Spencer said. “Fort Lauderdale being a basketball city, the fact I came from there, the people I’ve met along the way, that all prepared me for it (college basketball).”

The Razorbacks will take on Tarleton State to open the season at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Bud Walton Arena. The game will be streamed on SEC Network+.

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