Women's Basketball Announces Non-Conference Schedule
July 25, 2017
MILWAUKEE--Head coach Carolyn Kieger and the Marquette University women's basketball team has announced the non-conference schedule for the 2017-18 season, headlined by four NCAA Tournament participants, including national powerhouses Tennessee and Notre Dame, and WNIT Champion Michigan.
"We believe we are challenging ourselves against several of the best programs in the country," Kieger said. "Our goal was to prepare ourselves the best we could for BIG EAST and post-season play. We look forward to a great season and we are working tirelessly to prepare for one of the toughest schedules in the nation."
The season begins Nov. 13 as the Golden Eagles head to Albuquerque to take on New Mexico. The Lobos made the 2017 NCAA Tournament as a 15-seed, falling in the first round to eventual Final Four team Stanford.
Marquette then hosts the home opener against Loyola University of Maryland on Sunday, Nov. 19 before heading south of the border to Cancun, Mexico to continue the tradition of playing in a Thanksgiving tournament. This season, the Golden Eagles will battle perennial powerhouse Tennessee Nov. 23 at 5:30 p.m. Central time and Montana Nov. 24 at 8 p.m. CT. Tennessee advanced to the second round of last season's NCAA Tournament and returns Associated Press All-American honorable mention and WBCA Coaches All-Region nominee Mercedes Russell.
Following the pair of games in Mexico, Marquette heads home to host Loyola-Chicago Nov. 28 before heading north to take on in-state foe Green Bay Dec. 2. The Phoenix reached the NCAA Tournament last season and won the Horizon league for the 19th straight season last year.
The Golden Eagles then take on in-state rival Wisconsin at the Al McGuire Center Dec. 4. Marquette had the upper hand in last year's game and have won the past two match-ups against the Badgers. After a brief stop in Milwaukee, Marquette heads to Ann Arbor to take on defending WNIT Champion Michigan. The Wolverines return nine players from that championship team, including WBCA All-America Honorable Mention and team MVP Katelynn Flaherty.
The Golden Eagles return to Milwaukee to take on Army West Point at the Al Dec. 10 and crosstown-foe Milwaukee in the Panthers' home building Dec. 17.
Marquette wraps up the non-conference slate with one of its most challenging match-ups of the season at Notre Dame Dec. 20. The Irish made the Elite Eight last season, falling against Stanford by a point to come up just short of the Final Four. Notre Dame brings back senior stud and consensus All-American Brianna Turner and is led by Hall of Fame Coach Muffet McGraw.
The Golden Eagles will be tested on the road, as only four of the 11 games take place at the Al McGuire Center and all five games against postseason teams take place away from home. Last year's squad, that only lost one starter, piled up a 9-3 road record, including victories over nationally ranked Oregon State and DePaul.
Kieger welcomes the challenge playing away games will provide for her team.
"Competing at Notre Dame and against Tennessee will give us an excellent test against two of the more storied programs in all of women's basketball," she said. "Additionally, playing at Michigan, Green Bay and New Mexico will give us an opportunity to play in three of the hardest environments in country."
Marquette will look to defend its BIG EAST Tournament title as it opens conference play following the Christmas break. The Golden Eagles finished last season with a 25-8 mark en route to their first NCAA appearance since 2011.
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