STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – Seven teams that advanced to the postseason a year ago highlight a challenging 2018-19 non-conference schedule for the Mississippi State women’s basketball team.
Mississippi State’s 13-game non-conference slate includes seven games in Humphrey Coliseum, and of the seven squads that earned postseason berths a year ago, five joined State in the NCAA Tournament.
This year’s pre-SEC slate also features four teams (Lamar, Little Rock, Marquette and Oregon) that won their respective conference crowns last season.
“Each year it becomes increasingly more difficult from a scheduling standpoint, and this year was probably our most difficult,” reigning SEC and Naismith Coach of the Year Vic Schaefer said. “We have put together a non-conference schedule that is very demanding with tremendous road and home games against Top 25-caliber opponents. Our schedule includes four conference champions and seven teams that played in the postseason last year. Of those seven teams, five earned the opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament while four advanced to the second round or beyond. I don’t think there’s any question that this year’s non-conference schedule could be our toughest yet and will really help prepare our team to play in the SEC, the toughest conference in the country.”
Following a Nov. 2 exhibition against 2018 NCAA Division II national champion Central Missouri, the back-to-back National Finalist Bulldogs officially begin Schaefer’s seventh season in Starkville with a Nov. 6 home contest against a Southeast Missouri State team that returns the Ohio Valley Conference Defensive and Freshman Players of the Year.
Three days later, MSU treks to Virginia to face a Cavaliers squad under first-year coach Tina Thompson that is coming off an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2017-18.
The Bulldogs begin a four-game homestand Nov. 15 against a Lamar team that advanced to the WNIT after winning the Southland Conference regular-season championship.
On Sun., Nov. 18, Mississippi State will raise the 2018 National Finalist banner into the rafters of Humphrey Coliseum prior to its contest against Coppin State.
The Bulldogs cap the homestand Nov. 21 against Furman, who played in the Women’s Basketball Invitational last season, and Jackson State (Nov. 24).
After closing November with a trip to 2018 Sun Belt Conference regular-season and tournament champion Little Rock, December begins with the SEC/Big 12 Challenge contest in Austin against a Texas squad that fell to UCLA in the Sweet 16 a year ago.
Mississippi State returns home Dec. 6 to face Marquette, the reigning BIG EAST regular-season champion that had its 2017-18 campaign halted at Louisville in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
A trip to Southern Miss (Dec. 14) begins a three-game road trip for Mississippi State. Following the game in Hattiesburg, Mississippi State heads to the west coast to meet an Oregon team coming off a return trip to the NCAA Elite Eight and the Pac-12 title.
It will be the third-straight year MSU and Oregon have met on the basketball court. The Bulldogs won 90-79 in Starkville last season after claiming a 75-63 victory in the 2016 Rainbow Whine Showdown in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Two days after facing the Ducks, State heads to Seattle to meet Washington in a rematch of the 2017 Sweet 16.
Following a 10-day break for the Christmas holiday, MSU returns to the Hump Dec. 30 to wrap the pre-SEC slate against a Louisiana team that advanced to the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament last season.
Mississippi State’s Non-Conference Schedule By the Numbers
· 13 – Number of 2018-19 non-Conference games
· 7 – Number of non-conference home games
· 7 – Number of teams that advanced to the postseason
· 5 – Number of opponents that went to the NCAA Tournament a year ago
· 4 – Number of foes that advanced past the first round last season
· 4 – Conference champions from 2018 on the schedule
Mississippi State Women’s Basketball
2018-19 Non-Conference Schedule
Date Day Opponent Time
Nov. 2 Fri. CENTRAL MISSOURI (Exh.) 6 p.m.
Nov. 6 Tues. SOUTHEAST MISSOURI ST. 7 p.m.
Nov. 9 Fri. at Virginia TBA
Nov. 15 Thurs. LAMAR 7 p.m.
Nov. 18 Sun. COPPIN STATE 2 p.m.
Nov. 21 Wed. FURMAN 7 p.m.
Nov. 24 Sat. JACKSON STATE 2 p.m.
Nov. 28 Wed. at Little Rock 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 2 Sun. ! at Texas TBA
Dec. 6 Thurs. MARQUETTE 7 p.m.
Dec. 14 Fri. at Southern Miss 6 p.m.
Dec. 18 Tues. at Oregon TBA
Dec. 20 Thurs. at Washington TBA
Dec. 30 Sun. LOUISIANA 2 p.m.
! — SEC/Big 12 Challenge
Home Games In BOLD CAPS
All Times Central & Subject To Change