JONESBORO, Ark. (8/25/16) – Arkansas State head women's basketball coach Brian Boyer has unveiled his team's 2016-17 non-conference basketball schedule, which includes five games against 2016 against postseason teams and home matchups against Florida and South Florida. The schedule also includes a trip to Puerto Rico to take part in the San Juan Classic.
The slate of games features three contests at the Convocation Center, including the Nov. 22 home opener against the Gators who went 22-9 last season and earned a berth into the NCAA Tournament. The matchup is a return trip after the Red Wolves played in Gainesville, Fla., and held a 12-point lead in the third quarter.
Arkansas State will also host another postseason team when South Florida comes to Jonesboro on Dec. 11. The Bulls spent the entire 2015-16 season ranked in the top-25 of both major women's basketball polls and collected 24-10 overall record. The squad finished second in the American Athletic Conference behind eventual National Champion UCONN and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. A-State's other non-conference home game will be Dec. 6 against Tulsa.
"I expect this non-conference schedule to challenge us and better prepare us for conference play," Boyer said. "I also believe the home portion of the schedule will be very entertaining for our fans."
For the first time in the program's history, A-State will travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico to take part in the San Juan Classic Dec. 19-21. The three day tournament will feature games against Kennesaw State, WBI participant Northern Kentucky and PAC-12 member California.
Northern Kentucky State finished with an overall record of 19-14 and advanced to the Horizon League Championship where they lost to eventual conference champion Green Bay in double overtime. The Norse advanced to participate in the Women's Basketball Invitation (WBI) Tournament where they hosted USC Upstate in the opening round.
Arkansas State will open the 2016-17 season on the road on Nov. 11 against Oklahoma State, who advanced to the first round of the NCAA Tournament last season with a 21-10 overall record. The Cowgirls and Red Wolves have met on six previous occasions with A-State winning two matchups. The last meeting between the schools came during the 2007-08 season in Stillwater, Okla., with the Cowgirls claiming the victory.
A-State will continue on the road to play Austin Peay (Nov. 16) and Tennessee State (Nov. 19) before hosting Florida on Nov. 22. The squad will take to the road again for a Nov. 27 matchup at Iowa State, followed by a jaunt to Wichita State Dec. 2. The Red Wolves will travel to Martin, Tenn., to take WNIT participant UT Martin on Dec. 14 before departing on their journey to Puerto Rico in the middle of December.