Regional games highlight 2013-14 women's hoops slate
Courtesy: Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations
"I really looked at setting another competitive schedule," UND head coach Travis Brewster said. "When you only play nine non-conference games, you really have to go out and try to attract some teams that want to come here and play. We're excited about this schedule."
UND will also visit the state of Iowa for three games, playing Iowa State, Northern Iowa and Iowa all before the end of the 2013 calendar year. Local schools-- Jamestown College (Nov. 26) and Mayville State (Dec. 18)-- also come to the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, part of 16 home contests. Local NCAA Division II schools Minnesota Crookston (Nov. 2) and Bemidji State (Nov. 5) will each play an exhibition game in Grand Forks.
All told, North Dakota will face 13 games against teams that qualified for the postseason last year. Included in that total are three NCAA teams (Iowa State, Iowa, Montana), five WNIT qualifiers (Northern Iowa, Minnesota, Northern Colorado, Idaho State, Eastern Washington) and South Dakota, who took part in the Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI).
"The Big Sky is a tough conference," Brewster noted. "We had four teams play in the postseason either in the NCAA Tournament or in the WNIT. That's 13 games we play out of our 29 that played in the postseason. Hopefully our fans are enjoying that kind of competition."
This season begins earlier than most with a trip to Toronto, Ont. for a three-game exhibition slate in August. The team will begin practicing Aug. 7th in preparation for that trip and will face two Toronto All-Star teams and Ryerson University during the Aug. 17-22 excursion.
The regular season begins Nov. 10 with the first trip to Iowa to battle Iowa State and Northern Iowa. A week later, USD opens the home portion of the regular season schedule. The meeting with the Gophers takes place on Dec. 8 with the in-state battle with the Bison six days later at BESC. The Big Sky opener comes on Dec. 21 at Northern Colorado.
A season-long four-game homestand from Jan. 20 to Feb. 8 sets up the final stretch that will see UND on the road for five of its final seven games. The start of that trip goes through Montana to face the defending league-champion Lady Griz and Montana State. UND wraps the regular season with road games at Portland State, Eastern Washington and Southern Utah before the conference tournament set for March 12-15 at the site of the regular season champion.
North Dakota returns eight letterwinners from last season, including a quartet of seniors. All Big Sky honorable mention pick Madi Buck (who led UND in scoring and rebounding) joins fellow classmates Megan Lauck, Katie Houdek and Allyssa Wall.
2013-14 schedule by the numbers
*75th all-time meeting between UND and NDSU (UND leads, 41-33)
*20 Big Sky Conference games
*16 home games total (2 exhibitions)
*Nov. 10 date of first regular season game (at Iowa State)
*Nov. 17- regular season home opener (vs. South Dakota)
*13 games against postseason teams (NCAA- Iowa State, Iowa, Montana (2); WNIT- Eastern Washington (2), Idaho State (2), No. Colorado (2), Northern Iowa, Minnesota; WBI- South Dakota.