DENTON, Texas (9/24/08) The schedule under new head coach Shanice Stephens is going to feature some of the best teams in nation as North Texas has released its 2008-09 women’s basketball schedule. The Mean Green faces seven teams that played in the post-season last year and five that made the NCAA Tournament.
“We have a strong, yet balanced non-conference schedule which will challenge our players every single game,” said Stephens. “The extensive travel will help us prepare for our goal of post-season play. I am excited about the level of competition we will face early because it will enable us to compete on a higher level as we enter into our ever competitive Sun Belt schedule.
North Texas starts the season with five games away from home, beginning on November 17 at Marshall. The Mean Green plays in the UTSA Classic over the thanksgiving weekend against Charleston Southern and UTSA.
North Texas fans will get their first glimpse at the new style employed by Stephens on Dec. 2 with a home game against Houston. It will be the first meeting with Houston at the Super Pit since 2003. Valparaiso visits the Super Pit for the first time on Dec. 6.
North Texas has a road game at New Mexico a week later on Dec. 9 before returning to face SMU in Dallas on December 14. Both the Lobos and Mustangs went to the NCAA Tournament last season.
One of the toughest non-conference games will be on December 28 when North Texas visits Oklahoma State. The Cowgirls made it to the Sweet 16 and won 27 games last season.
The Mean Green begins Sun Belt Conference play on December 18 on the road at Louisiana-Lafayette. North Texas faces defending conference champion Western Kentucky on Jan. 31 in Bowling Green.
North Texas has a daunting task of playing defending West Division champion UALR and Middle Tennessee twice this season, as both teams are coming off WNIT appearances.
In all the Mean Green face a fierce road schedule of 18 games.
The five NCAA tournament teams North Texas plays this season are UTSA, New Mexico, SMU, Oklahoma State, and Western Kentucky.
The 2009 Sun Belt Conference Tournament is in Hot Springs, Arkansas this season. First-round games are scheduled for March 4 with the tournament in Hot Springs on March 7-10.