Six home games and a total of six contests against fellow NCAA Tournament qualifiers from a year ago highlight a challenging nonconference portion of the South Dakota State women’s basketball team’s schedule for the upcoming 2019-20 season.
The Jackrabbits, who last season made their first appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16 after reaching the tournament for the ninth time in 11 years, return three starters to a squad that compiled a 28-7 record during the 2018-19 campaign and won both Summit League regular season and postseason tournament titles.
SDSU will tip off the season with a home exhibition game Oct. 30 against St. Cloud State, before embarking on a two-game road trip. The 2019-20 opener is set for Nov. 8 at NCAA qualifier Drake, with the two-game swing ending Nov. 12 at Creighton.
New to the schedule this season is the Jackrabbits’ first-ever game at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, which will take place Nov. 15, when SDSU takes on Dakota Wesleyan. The Tigers have made consecutive NAIA Final Four appearances, including winning the national championship during the 2017-18 season.
The Jackrabbits’ regular season home opener is slated for Nov. 21 versus Montana State, with a Nov. 23 game against Wyoming wrapping up a two-game homestand.
As announced earlier, the Jackrabbits will play three games in Cancun, Mexico, over the Thanksgiving holiday from Nov. 28-30, facing South Florida, Notre Dame and Florida Gulf Coast in succession. Notre Dame advanced to the national championship game last season, while Florida Gulf Coast also played in the NCAA Tournament. South Florida was a participant in the Women’s NIT.
In December, the Jackrabbits will be home for four games, starting with a Dec. 5 matchup versus Coppin State. SDSU will welcome UT Chattanooga to Frost Arena on Dec. 11, and will conclude the home portion of its nonconference schedule with games against NCAA Tournament qualifiers Central Michigan (Dec. 14) and Marquette (Dec. 17).
Closing out the non-league schedule are road games at Oregon (Dec. 8) and Green Bay (Dec. 21). The Jackrabbits met Oregon twice last season, dropping a hard-fought 87-79 decision at Frost Arena last December before falling in the rematch, 63-53, in a Sweet 16 game played in Portland, Oregon. The Ducks went on to reach the Final Four, losing to eventual national champion Baylor in the national semifinals.
Green Bay played in the WNIT, along with Wyoming, giving SDSU a total of nine nonconference games — out of 13 — against teams that played in a Division I postseason event.
Summit League action begins Dec. 29 at Omaha.
Courtesy of gojacks.com