Aug. 24, 2009
2009-10 Women's Basketball Schedule
DeKALB - Home games against five in-state rivals, and the always rigorous Mid-American Conference slate highlight the 2009-10 Northern Illinois women's basketball schedule, announced Thursday by NIU head coach Carol Owens.
The Huskies will host Bradley on Nov. 13 to open the regular season, and take on Western Illinois (Nov. 17), Southern Illinois (Nov. 22), DePaul (Nov. 28) and UIC (Dec. 29) in the friendly confines of the NIU Convocation Center. Northern Illinois will also host Northern Iowa (Dec. 2) in non-conference home action.
"We only have three non-conference games that are outside of the state," Owens said. "That goes to show you that we don't have to go far to find great competition."
Northern Illinois can look forward to playing five teams who made it to the postseason in 2009. DePaul earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament and finished the year with a 23-10 overall record. Ball State, who the Huskies will host Jan. 9 and visit Feb. 23, earned the MAC's automatic berth after winning the conference tournament, and went on to record a notable tournament win over Tennessee.
"I want to challenge our team," Owens said. "Our player are hungry, and I think they have a grasp of what it takes and the level of play that we need to achieve our goal, which is to win a MAC Championship."
Away games at Women's National Invitation Tournament (NIT) participants Illinois State (Dec. 4) and Nebraska (Dec. 13), along with a conference trip to NIT participant Bowling Green (Feb. 2) round out the Huskies' games against 2009 postseason squads.
In addition to a bevy of in-state rivals and postseason participants, season ticket holders will get to see MAC West opponents Ball State (Jan. 9, away Feb. 23), Western Michigan (Jan. 12, away Mar. 2), Central Michigan (Jan. 20, away Feb. 13), Eastern Michigan (Feb. 27, away Jan. 16), and Toledo (Feb. 20, away Jan. 6) at the Convo.
"Our fans recognize the teams we're playing," Owens said. "In addition to playing a major conference team in DePaul, I don't see any easy games in the MAC this year."
Visitors from the MAC East to DeKalb include Buffalo (Jan. 23), Kent State (Jan. 30), and Ohio (Feb.10). The Huskies will make trips to East Division members Miami (Jan. 27), Akron (Feb. 6), and regular season MAC Champion Bowling Green (Feb. 2).
Owens' team will make non-conference road trips to Prairie State rivals Loyola (Dec. 17), and Chicago State (Jan. 3), and will face IUPUI (Nov. 19) and Milwaukee (Nov. 25) away from home.
The Huskies return four of their top five scorers from last year's team which finished the season 15-15 overall, and 10-6 in the MAC.