Lady Bears Complete 2008-09 Schedule
The 2008-09 Missouri State University women’s basketball schedule has been completed and was announced Monday by Director of Athletics Bill Rowe. The Lady Bears will play two exhibition contests in Hammons Student Center and a total of 14 regular-season home games during their inaugural season in JQH Arena. Additional starting times and the Lady Bears’ television schedule will be announced at a later date.
Missouri State’s schedule could feature as many as 15 regular-season contests against clubs that earned postseason bids last year, including match-ups against NCAA participants DePaul, Oral Roberts, Western Kentucky, reigning MVC champion Illinois State and a potential date with Tennessee-Chattanooga, as well as games with six programs that earned WNIT bids in 2007-08. Additionally, the Lady Bears will return to Cancun, Mexico, to participate in the Caribbean Classic to cap the non-conference season.
After exhibition games against Southwestern Oklahoma State (Nov. 1) and Arkansas Tech (Nov. 9), the Lady Bears will open their 40th season with a Nov. 14 road tilt against Southeast Missouri State in Cape Girardeau, Mo. From there, MSU will make the short trip down I-44 to Tulsa to take on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Nov. 19.
The highlight of the 2008-09 season will be the unveiling of MSU’s state-of-the-art $67 million basketball facility, JQH Arena, which will open with a Nov. 23 contest against Arkansas State. The Lady Bears will host Oral Roberts on Nov. 26 before traveling to Saint Louis (Nov. 29) to close out the month of November. The Lady Bears will kick off a busy month of December with a string of three straight games against programs that appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2008. A mid-week trip to the state of Wisconsin-Green Bay (Dec. 3) starts the critical stretch, followed by home dates with Western Kentucky (Dec. 7) and DePaul (Dec. 10). Arkansas-Little Rock is another team that earned a postseason bid a year ago and the Trojans will pay the Lady Bears a visit to close out the home portion of the non-conference schedule on Dec. 14.
To put the finishing touches on the non-conference season, Missouri State will return to the Yucatan Peninsula where it will play two games against a Caribbean Classic (Dec. 19-20) pool that includes San Francisco, Stephen F. Austin and a Chattanooga team that reeled off 24 consecutive wins last year before falling in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Lady Bears will kick off their 17th season in the Valley with a pair of home games against UNI (Jan. 2) and Bradley (Jan. 4), before hitting the road to take on a pair of clubs in Creighton (Jan. 8) and Drake (Jan. 10) that are expected to compete for the league’s top spot. MSU returns to Springfield to entertain Indiana State (Jan. 17) and likely MVC favorite Illinois State (Jan. 17), then wraps up the first half of the conference slate with a three-game road swing that includes a Jan. 24 trip to Wichita State, a Jan. 29 game at Evansville and a Jan. 31 match-up with Southern Illinois in Carbondale.
MSU returns home to host Creighton (Feb. 6) and Drake (Feb. 8) before heading to Illinois State (Feb. 12) and Indiana State (Feb. 14). The Lady Bears follow that stretch with their longest homestand of the conference season, beginning with a Feb. 21 game against Wichita State. Evansville (Feb. 27) and Southern Illinois (March 1) visit JQH Arena for the first time the following weekend before MSU closes out the regular season with games against Bradley (March 5) in Peoria and UNI (March 7) in Cedar Falls.
For the second consecutive year, the State Farm MVC Tournament will be played at a neutral site in St. Charles, Mo. The 10-team tournament will once again be held at The Family Arena, beginning with two opening-round games on Thursday, March 12, and concluding with the championship game on Sunday, March 15.
The NCAA Women’s Final Four returns to St. Louis in 2009. Both national semifinal games (April 5) as well as the national championship game (April 7) will be played at Scottrade Center.
For information on 2008-09 Missouri State Lady Bear season ticket packages, which include general admission tickets to both exhibition games in Hammons Student Center as well as reserved seats to all 14 games in JQH Arena, please call (417) 836-8100.