University of North Dakota head women's basketball coach Travis Brewster announced his team's complete 2016-17 schedule Tuesday, replete with teams well-accustomed to postseason play. All told, UND will play 10 games against teams that played past their conference tournaments a season ago.
"This schedule showcases a lot of teams that our fans can recognize and have fun with, however, it's a serious challenge for the team," Brewster said. "Our schedule has 10 games against teams that were involved in postseason play last season, six of them in the non-conference portion. To have another Big 10 team like Iowa, a national power that has been successful for many years, to play in front of some the best fans in the nation is a plus. We also get San Francisco at home, a team that made the NCAA field a year ago as well. Playing two Big 12 teams-- Kansas and Texas Tech-- both on the road will be an additional challenge for us as well as playing San Diego, who won 25 games last season and went to the WNIT.
"We have some familiar Missouri Valley Conference teams, both of whom made the WNIT last season: Drake in a tough home opener and later Northern Iowa on the road. Playing South Dakota State will bring back some memories for our fans, they are an excellent team that was one possession away from the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament last year. As always, the game four days later, 78 miles to the south will be a doozy."
Of the 30 scheduled contests, 16 will be at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, a building that saw a 12-4 UND record there last season. It starts with an exhibition against Minnesota Crookston on Nov. 6 before the regular season opens five days later against Drake. After a quick trip to Lubbock, Texas for the first-ever meeting with Texas Tech on Nov. 13, UND will host Iowa on Nov. 16 followed by Mayville State on Nov. 22. Kansas (Nov. 27) will host the Fighting Hawks post-Thanksgiving then home games with San Francisco (Dec. 3) and South Dakota State (Dec. 6) to start December.
NDSU will host the annual rivalry tilt with a Dec. 10 game in the new Scheels Center at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex in Fargo, N.D. The Fighting Hawks are 4-0 since the teams resumed the series in the 2012-13 season. The non-conference slate rounds out with a home tilt against Mary (Dec. 13) before heading to Northern Iowa (Dec. 18) and San Diego (Dec. 21).
The Big Sky Conference schedule of 18 games begins before the calendar year with a home game against Portland State. UND will play nine home games and nine road tilts in league play, missing both Montana and Montana State on the road and Eastern Washington and Idaho at home.
UND is coming off its fourth postseason trip in the last five seasons, a 19-14 campaign that saw North Dakota finish in a tie for second in the regular season Big Sky Conference standings and grab its first-ever postseason win (vs. Grand Canyon in the WBI).