Vandals release women's hoops schedule
Posted on August 23, 2013 at 5:15 PM
Updated Friday, Aug 23 at 5:15 PM
MOSCOW, Idaho—The University of Idaho women’s basketball team will compete against a number of regional opponents as well as top national opponents in its non-conference season, featuring an opening game in the Preseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
Idaho will open its 2013-14 season in Spokane on Nov. 8, as part of the Preseason NIT, against Gonzaga. Both teams are coming off of NCAA Tournament appearances. Idaho and Gonzaga have met in each of the last four seasons, with GU winning each time. Idaho holds a 19-14 lead in the all-time series against Gonzaga.
“To start off in the preseason WNIT is a huge honor for us,” head coach Jon Newlee said. “I think it is a statement for our program, the way we finished last year and the future of the program is what they base a lot of that on.”
The non-conference schedule puts the Vandals up against schools from the Big West, West Coast Conference, Big Sky, Pac 12, ACC, Mountain West and Big 12. The Vandals will host UC Irvine (Nov. 23), Carroll College (Dec. 3), Lewis-Clark State College (Dec. 11) and Wyoming (Dec. 21). Idaho will be on the road for games against San Diego (Nov. 26), Eastern Washington (Dec. 14) and Texas (Dec. 28).
The Vandals will play in two tournaments in non-conference play. The first being the John Ascuaga’s Nugget Classic hosted by Nevada (Nov. 29-30). Idaho will play the Wolfpack on Saturday and then either Cal., or Wake Forest on Saturday. The Vandals will also take part in the 33rd Lady Griz Classic (Dec. 6-7). Montana will be first on the schedule for Idaho and game number two will be against either Appalachian State or UC Irvine.
“A couple of the tournaments we are going to be in are going to be very strong, Nevada in particular,” Newlee stated. “We will play Nevada and then possibly Cal., or Wake Forest. As we go on we play the University of Texas in Austin. I think that will be a great trip for us. The environment and drama out there will be awesome for our team to get used to right before we get into the conference.”
The Vandals will begin their Western Athletic Conference title defense on the road against a pair conference newcomers, UMKC (Jan. 2) and Chicago State (Jan. 4). Idaho will play home-and-home series throughout WAC play. Joining UMKC and Chicago State will be CSU Bakersfield, Grand Canyon, New Mexico State, Seattle U, UTPA and Utah Valley. The Vandals will enter their final WAC Tournament, Mar. 12, 14-15, in Las Vegas, Nev., once again with the hopes of cutting down the nets.
“The WAC season is going to be kind of an unknown for us,” Newlee commented. “I know Seattle has pretty much everybody back. New Mexico State will be strong. Everybody else to me is kind of a mystery. UTPA will be well coached with Larry Tidwell, but other than that I don’t know a lot about the WAC going in.”