SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Missouri State University women’s basketball team will play over half of its 29 games on the 2011-12 schedule against teams that played in the postseason a year ago and will start the year with three straight games against 2011 NCAA Tournament teams, fifth-year head coach Nyla Milleson announced Thursday.
In all, the Lady Bears have six games against five NCAA teams from last season and nine more against schools that participated in the WNIT. Missouri State has five games against RPI top 50 teams and 11 total versus clubs that finished among the top 100 in the RPI.
“This is the most difficult schedule we’ve had in my five years at Missouri State,” Milleson said. “The first three games are against NCAA Tournament teams from last year and the league will be good again, but our team is certainly up to the challenge.”
Milleson also noted that the team is still seeking one additional non-conference opponent for a late-November or early-December home game.
Missouri State begins the regular season Nov. 11 at Louisiana Tech and opens the home season Nov. 13 against Louisville at JQH arena. The Lady Bears play a third consecutive 2011 NCAA team Nov. 18 when they travel to Kansas State.
The remainder of the non-conference schedule includes home games against East Tennessee State (Nov. 23), 2011 NCAA participant Arkansas-Little Rock (Nov. 29), North Texas (Dec. 11) and 2011 WNIT team Morgan State in a return trip from last season’s game in Baltimore. The Lady Bears also play road games at perennial postseason qualifiers Oral Roberts (Nov. 26) and Oklahoma State (Dec. 8) before wrapping up non-league play Dec. 20 at Arkansas State.
The Missouri Valley Conference season begins Dec. 29 at Bradley. The Lady Bears play four MVC home games in January, three in February and two March, ending the year March 3 against Bradley. The league schedule includes eight games against 2011 postseason teams.
The State Farm MVC Tournament will take place March 8-11 at The Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo.
The Lady Bears will have the opportunity to play three preseason exhibition games this season. Missouri State welcomes Harding (Oct. 30) and Northeastern (Okla.) State to JQH Arena before a trip to Joplin to take on Missouri Southern for a Nov. 5 benefit game with a 5 p.m. tip-off. All proceeds from the game at MSSU will go directly to the Missouri Southern Foundation’s Tornado Emergency Relief Fund to help aid the relief effort for the May 22 natural disaster that destroyed much of the Joplin community.
National, regional and institutional television information will be finalized by early October.
Missouri State, which finished with an RPI of 55 and played in the WNIT last season, is coming off a 24-11 campaign and a second-place MVC finish.
Season ticket information is available now by calling (417) 836-7678 or (888) 476-7849 or visiting the Chevy Pickup Window at JQH Arena. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.