GRAND FORKS, N.D.-- The University of North Dakota women's basketball team has released its entire 2014-15 schedule, a 29-game slate in addition to at least three games in the prestigious 2014 Preseason Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT). Big Ten foe Minnesota makes a trip to the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center on Dec. 10, just four days after UND makes another visit to rival North Dakota State in two of the highlighted matchups.
“This schedule is ignited by playing in the school’s first Preseason WNIT and opening with a PAC-12 school in Colorado and we’ll also play abother challenging BCS school in Clemson,” UND head coach Travis Brewster said. “There is a good balance of Midwest schools that our fans are familiar with such as Minnesota and North Dakota State but we’ve also presented ourselves with a challenge on the national scene. Our team is going to have to be focused right away. The non-conference schedule will be challenging which will prepare us for the grind in the Big Sky Conference.”
The Preseason WNIT is a three-game guarantee with the first game coming Nov. 15 at Colorado. The second round is slated for two days later with the potential for UND to host one of the remaining two contests. The tournament finishes up on the weekend of Nov. 22-23, book-ending the regular-season home opener with Milwaukee on Nov. 18. Road games follow at Omaha (Nov. 26) and Western Illinois surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday. UND returns home Dec. 2 to host Dickinson State before “rivalry week”.
North Dakota and North Dakota State will meet for the third straight season, this time at Scheels Arena in Fargo, N.D. on Dec. 6. Four days later, UND will welcome the Golden Gophers of Minnesota, the first BIG TEN school to play at the Betty. North Dakota defeated NDSU for the second straight season last year and fell by a bucket in a hotly-contested game at Minnesota in 2013-14.
Clemson will be the opponent on Dec. 13 as UND heads to South Carolina for the first time in school history to face the Tigers of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). After a Dec. 16 date against Mayville State at home, UND will close the non-conference slate and the calendar year at South Dakota on Dec. 21 in Vermillion, S.D.
The Big Sky Conference schedule starts with a bang as the Montana schools visit the BESC. North Dakota will look to avenge last season’s pair of losses to Montana State before a league-tournament championship rematch with Montana on Jan. 3. The first conference road trip in a revamped conference sees North Dakota travel to Sacramento State and Portland State before a Jan. 17 tilt at Northern Colorado. New Big Sky member Idaho—winners of the Western Athletic Conference last season— make the trip to Grand Forks on Jan. 22 with Eastern Washington its new travel partner.
The 18-game league schedule includes duels with co-regular season champion Southern Utah on Feb. 5 at home and Feb. 28 in Cedar City, Utah in the penultimate contest of the campaign. The regular season closes with Northern Colorado on March 7 with the league tournament to follow the next weekend. Eight teams will qualify for the postseason tournament with the regular season champion serving as host. Last season, UND rode the No. 1 seed to a pair of lop-sided victories in the Big Sky Tournament and punched its ticket to the school’s first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament appearance.
North Dakota returns the league's leading rebounder, All-Big Sky Conference Second Teamer Mia Loyd, as well as the league's Sixth Woman of the Year (Emily Evers) and Newcomer of the Year (Kelsey Knox). Senior Megan Lauck returns after an early-season injury that wiped out her 2013-14 campaign and sophomore Leah Szabla returns after a solid rookie campaign. All told, North Dakota returns seven players with starting experience including senior Siri Burck and junior Makailah Dyer.
UND will honor last season's conference title with a championship ceremony prior to the Nov. 2 exhibition with Minnesota Crookston (2pm). Single-game tickets for UND men’s and women’s basketball will go on sale to the general public on Saturday, Nov. 1 at 10 a.m. Champions Club members will be able to participate in a pre-sale for single-game tickets on Friday, Oct. 31. UND students receive free tickets when they present a valid student ID to the student ticket office in Memorial Union starting 2 weeks prior to each home game, or at the BESC box office on game day (subject to availability).
Season tickets for UND women’s basketball are on-sale now, starting at only $90. Purchase online at UNDsports.com/Tickets or stop by the UND ticket office at Ralph Engelstad Arena. Fans can also choose a combined season ticket package with men’s basketball for as low as $150. Group ticket options (10 or more) are also available – learn more by calling 701.777.4582. Details on teams and prices for this year’s BIG GAME ticket mini-plan will be released in the future. For more ticket information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCHEDULE BY THE NUMBERS
*32 total games (plus WNIT championship game)
*18 Big Sky Conference games
*15 total home games
*TEN: first-ever home meeting with a BIG TEN opponent (Minnesota)
*9 games against postseason teams from 2013-14
*6 games against postseason WNIT teams from 2013-14 (Montana (2), Southern Utah (2), Colorado, Minnesota)
*2 NCAA tournament teams from 2013-14 (Idaho, South Dakota)
*2 exhibition games (Minnesota Crookston, Bemidji State)
2014-15 UND Women's Basketball Schedule
|Nov. 2||MINNESOTA CROOKSTON (exh.)||2 p.m.|
|Nov. 9||BEMIDJI STATE (exh.)||2 p.m.|
|Nov. 15||at Colorado (WNIT)||6 p.m.|
|TBA||Preseason WNIT 2nd round||TBA|
|Nov. 18||MILWAUKEE||8 p.m.|
|Nov. 22-23||Preseason WNIT 3rd round||TBA|
|TBA||Preseason WNIT Championship||TBA|
|Nov. 26||at Omaha||TBA|
|Nov. 29||at Western Illinois||TBA|
|Dec. 2||DICKINSON STATE||7 p.m.|
|Dec. 6||at North Dakota State||TBA|
|Dec. 10||MINNESOTA||7 p.m.|
|Dec. 13||at Clemson||6 p.m.|
|Dec. 16||MAYVILLE STATE||7 p.m.|
|Dec. 21||at South Dakota||TBA|
|Jan. 1||MONTANA STATE*||7 p.m.|
|Jan. 3||MONTANA*||2 p.m.|
|Jan. 8||at Sacramento State*||TBA|
|Jan. 10||at Portland State*||TBA|
|Jan. 17||at Northern Colorado*||TBA|
|Jan. 22||IDAHO*||7 p.m.|
|Jan. 24||EASTERN WASHINGTON*||2 p.m.|
|Jan. 29||at Weber State*||TBA|
|Jan. 31||at Idaho State*||TBA|
|Feb. 5||SOUTHERN UTAH*||7 p.m.|
|Feb. 7||NORTHERN ARIZONA*||2 p.m.|
|Feb. 12||at Montana*||TBA|
|Feb. 14||at Montana State*||TBA|
|Feb. 19||PORTLAND STATE*||7 p.m.|
|Feb. 21||SACRAMENTO STATE*||2 p.m.|
|Feb. 26||at Northern Arizona*||TBA|
|Feb. 28||at Southern Utah*||TBA|
|Mar. 7||NORTHERN COLORADO*||2 p.m.|
|Mar. 12-15||Big Sky Conference Tournament||TBA|
|Home games in BOLD CAPS (Betty Engelstad Sioux Center)|
|*Big Sky Conference games|