JONESBORO (KAIT) - Fourteen home games, including regional matchups with Louisiana Tech, Missouri State and Southern Illinois, along with nine home Sun Belt Conference games highlight the 2009-10 ASU Red Wolves women's basketball schedule.
A pair of exhibition games are also on the home slate before the regular season gets underway Nov. 13 when the Red Wolves travel to Omaha, Neb. to take on the Creighton Bluejays. Following the season-opener at Creighton, ASU's road trip will continue to Kansas State, where ASU will take on the Wildcats in a Nov. 16 matchup. Both of ASU's opponents on the season-opening road swing participated in post-season play a year ago, with Creighton playing in the Women's National Invitation Tournament and Kansas State advancing to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament.
"The opening weekend when we go to Creighton and to Kansas State will be as tough of a weekend as our program has had in a long time," said ASU head coach Brian Boyer. "Those are two challenging games on the road that will be a great early gauge for this team."
The Red Wolves' home opener is scheduled for Nov. 18 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, followed by a trip to South Orange, N.J. for the Seton Hall Classic. Arkansas State will take on Virginia Commonwealth in the opening round of the SHU Classic, then face Seton Hall or Morgan State in the second round.
"The tournament at Seton Hall will be a great trip for the team," said Boyer. "It will be a great experience and on top of that, it is a great tournament and one where we hope to be able to take on a Big East team in the championship game."
Following the Seton Hall Classic, the Red Wolves will return home for regional matchups against Louisiana Tech and Missouri State, taking on the Lady Techsters Nov. 24 and the Lady Bears Nov. 27.
"Those are two programs that when you look at women's basketball through the years, both of those teams have as good a tradition as there is in this area," said Boyer. "Missouri State is a contest where we have continued to renew that contract and certainly hope to in the future, and Louisiana Tech is a series that we are excited to start back again after being off a few years."
After road trips to St. Louis and Northern Arizona, the Red Wolves return to Jonesboro to face Texas-Arlington Dec. 15 before hosting Arkansas-Little Rock Dec. 19 to open Sun Belt Conference play. The final non-conference game is scheduled for Dec. 22 at home against Southern Illinois.
"St. Louis is another natural non-conference opponent for us," continued Boyer. "We have some players from that area and it is a good opportunity to get them home so that they can play in front of their families. It is also another chance for our program to show off against another good women's basketball league in the Atlantic 10, which has become a very strong conference. It is another opportunity for us to represent the Sun Belt. We are starting a series with UT-Arlington and fans may not be aware of how good they have been in the past. They are a team that has been very, very successful in past years, and we are excited to get them at home. Southern Illinois is a series that we started last year and has the potential to be a very good regional rivalry."
The Red Wolves will also host North Texas, Middle Tennessee, Louisiana-Lafayette, Denver, Louisiana-Monroe, Western Kentucky, New Orleans and Troy in Sun Belt Conference matchups at the ASU Convocation Center.
"Our non-conference schedule exposes us to things that will prepare us for Sun Belt Conference play," said Boyer. "As a whole, this has the makings for one of the stronger years in the Sun Belt in quite some time. When you look across the league at the number of all-conference players returning, this has a chance to be a really strong year in the Sun Belt."
The Sun Belt Conference Tournament is scheduled for March 6-9 at Summit Arena in Hot Springs. In a departure from the past three seasons, all tournament games will now be played in Hot Springs, eliminating the need for on-campus, first-round games.
2009-10 ASU Women's Basketball Schedule
Nov. 3 Christian Brothers (Ex.) ASU Convocation Center 7:05 p.m.
Nov. 10 Southern Arkansas (Ex.) ASU Convocation Center 7:05 p.m.
Nov. 13 at Creighton Omaha, Neb. 8:35 p.m.
Nov. 16 at Kansas State Manhattan, Kan. 7:00 p.m.
Nov. 18 Arkansas-Pine Bluff ASU Convocation Center 7:05 p.m.
Nov. 20 vs. Virginia Commonwealth# South Orange, N.J. 5:00 p.m.
Nov. 21 vs. Seton Hall or Morgan State# South Orange, N.J. TBA
Nov. 24 Louisiana Tech. ASU Convocation Center 7:05 p.m.
Nov. 27 Missouri State ASU Convocation Center 7:05 p.m.
Nov. 30 at St. Louis St. Louis, Mo. 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 5 at Northern Arizona Flagstaff, Ariz. 7:35 p.m.
Dec. 15 Texas-Arlington ASU Convocation Center 7:05 p.m.
Dec. 19 UALR* ASU Convocation Center 7:05 p.m.
Dec. 22 Southern Illinois ASU Convocation Center 7:05 p.m.
Dec. 30 at Denver Denver, Col. 8:07 p.m.
Jan. 2 North Texas* ASU Convocation Center 3:05 p.m.
Jan. 6 Middle Tennessee* ASU Convocation Center 7:05 p.m.
Jan. 9 at South Alabama* Mobile, Ala. 5:05 p.m.
Jan. 16 at North Texas* Denton, Texas 5:00 p.m.
Jan. 20 at Florida International* Miami, Fla. TBA
Jan. 23 at Florida Atlantic* Boca Raton, Fla. 4:00 p.m.
Jan. 27 Louisiana-Lafayette* ASU Convocation Center 7:05 p.m.
Jan. 30 Denver* ASU Convocation Center 3:05 p.m.
Feb. 3 at UALR* Little Rock, Ark. 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 6 at New Orleans* New Orleans, La. 4:30 p.m.
Feb. 8 ULM* ASU Convocation Center 7:05 p.m.
Feb. 10 at Western Kentucky* Bowling Green, Ky. 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 17 at Louisiana-Lafayette* Lafayette, La. 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 20 Western Kentucky* ASU Convocation Center 3:05 p.m.
Feb. 24 New Orleans* ASU Convocation Center 7:05 p.m.
Feb. 27 Troy* ASU Convocation Center 3:05 p.m.
Mar. 6-9 Sun Belt Tournament Hot Springs, Ark. TBA
All Times Central Time
*Sun Belt Conference Game
# - Seton Hall Tournament