Aug. 15, 2014
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SPRINGFIELD -- The Missouri State women's basketball team will play six teams that qualified for the postseason a year ago and as many as five schools from the Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern conferences during a challenging non-league schedule that was unveiled Friday (Aug. 15) by second-year head coach Kellie Harper.
With the addition of the Missouri Valley Conference schedule, which will be released by the league in the coming weeks, the Lady Bears will have a total of 12 games against nine teams that participated in a postseason tournament in 2013-14, with 16 of the team's 29 scheduled contests against clubs that posted a winning record last year.
"I am excited to coach this team and watch their progress throughout the year," Harper said. "Our schedule is quite challenging this upcoming season. We will have to be mentally and physically tough throughout the road stretch during the month of November. The quality of competition on our non-conference schedule should help prepare our players for the rigors of Missouri Valley play."
The Lady Bears open the 2014-15 campaign Nov. 14 at Memphis and play each of their first six contests away from home. MSU travels to perennial Sun Belt Conference contender Arkansas-Little Rock on Nov. 18 and visits Oklahoma State on Nov. 22. The Cowgirls advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 last year.
MSU stays in Oklahoma for a Nov. 24 game at Oral Roberts before spending Thanksgiving weekend at the Omni Classic in Boulder, Colo. The Lady Bears take on the host Buffaloes on Nov. 28 before facing either Colorado State or TCU the next night. All three of MSU's potential opponents in Colorado played in the WNIT last season.
The home opener is slated for Dec. 6 against SIU Edwardsville as the Lady Bears will play the bulk of their December games at JQH Arena. Arkansas pays a visit to The Q on Dec. 10, and Missouri State closes its four-game homestand with a pair of 22-win clubs from last season by hosting IUPUI on Dec. 14 and Arkansas State on Dec. 19.
The non-conference schedule concludes Dec. 30 when the Lady Bears take on rival Missouri in a 4 p.m. contest at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.
Missouri State's exhibition schedule includes home games against Central Methodist (Nov. 4) and Southwest Baptist (Nov. 8).
Harper's Lady Bears completed her first season with a 14-17 record, including an 11-4 mark in the 15 games from Dec. 15-Feb. 7. The team returns seven letterwinners from that squad, led by all-MVC guards Tyonna Snow and Kenzie Williams. Missouri State's incoming freshman class for 2014-15 includes four all-state selections in Aubrey Buckley (6-1, F, Springfield, Mo., Parkview High), Liza Fruendt (5-9, G, Batavia, Ill., Batavia High), Audrey Holt (6-1, F, Columbia, Mo., Rock Bridge High) and Lee Ann Polowy (5-7, G, Jefferson City, Mo., Blair Oaks High).
Ticket information can be found online at www.MissouriStateBears.com/tickets.