Women's Basketball Releases Complete 2014-15 Schedule
Matchups with Oklahoma, Texas A&M and MTSU Will Be Toughest Tests
2014-15 NORTH TEXAS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
DENTON — Looking to improve upon a 12-18 record in the 2013-14 season, the women’s basketball team has finalized its 2014-15 schedule, with a number of premier matchups in conference and non-conference play.
From the first game – a home tilt against Houston November 14 – to the regular season finale – Senior Night against UTSA March 7 at the Super Pit – the Mean Green will play 29 games before heading to Birmingham, Alabama, for the 2015 Conference USA Championship.
While constructing the schedule for this season, head coach Mike Petersen and his staff had a few points of emphasis.
“We want to make sure we have really good home games, and a significant number of home games,” he said. “We really need to build our fan base and the best way to do that’s playing in front of them.”
Along with Houston, North Texas brings non-conference opponents Denver, Northern Colorado, UT Arlington, and perennial Big 12 powerhouse Oklahoma to the Super Pit. The Sooners have made 15 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament under head coach Sherri Coale.
And for the second straight season, the Mean Green host the Hospitality Hill Challenge the weekend of November 21-23. Last year, the team played Abilene Christian and Bethune Cookman, while this time around, Eastern Illinois and UMass come to town.
“I feel good about the number of home games we’ve got, I also feel great about the teams coming in,” Petersen evaluated. “We’ve got really good opponents coming to town.”
The away portion of the non-conference schedule includes trips to in-state rivals SMU in Dallas and Texas A&M in College Station. With head coach Gary Blair at the helm, the Aggies have notched nine consecutive seasons of at least 23 wins and an NCAA Tournament appearance, winning the 2011 National Championship in the process.
Also on the slate is a road trip from December 14-17 that will take the Mean Green to Kansas City – to play UMKC – then to San Francisco for a matchup with the Dons. North Texas is very excited for the trip, and is looking forward to some quality time in the City by the Bay.
“Part of being a college athlete is having the benefit of seeing different parts of the country, and San Francisco’s one of the great cities on our planet,” Petersen explained. “It’s a business trip, we’re going out there to win a game. But at the same time, we’ll do some things that when they leave they’ll have some great memories.”
As for the C-USA portion of the schedule, North Texas has home-and-home matchups with in-state rivals Rice, UTEP and UTSA, as well as East Coast schools Charlotte and Old Dominion. But perhaps the most anticipated conference matchup will be a Valentine’s Day date with Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
In its first season in C-USA last year, MTSU won the Conference Championship, in turn advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons. From the Sun Belt Conference to their current home in C-USA, the Blue Raiders have always been a top program. Still, Petersen believe the conference is up for grabs, and this year go any number of ways.
“It always starts with Middle [Tennessee]. Until somebody beats them, they’re the one,” the head coach said. “But one of the great things about this conference is that it’s really well-balanced. There will be a lot of teams that have a chance to challenge.
“Every night you’re gonna go to the gym with a chance to win and every night you’re gonna go to the gym with a chance to get beat.”