(MUTigers.com) - Mizzou Women's Basketball and head coach Robin Pingeton announced the 2014-15 schedule on Friday, following the release of the SEC slate by the league office.
Mizzou will face eight NCAA Tournament teams this season, and the Tigers will see an exciting non-conference slate before opening league play. The SEC Network has selected to air nine of Missouri's conference games, and the Tigers will also appear on Fox Sports on Feb. 12 at Alabama. All of the games on the SEC Network will be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 or Xbox One to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider. Fox Sports Net events will be available via these avenues outside the SEC Footprint only.
"I know all of us are very eager and excited about the upcoming season," head coach Robin Pingeton said. "Our team put in a lot of work over the last several months and we have seen great growth. Our non-conference schedule is going to be very challenging and I believe it will serve its purpose to prepare us for the battles we will face during SEC play. We are starting a home-and-home series with former Big 12 opponent Colorado as well as with Wake Forest. UT Martin played in the NCAA tournament and only lost to North Carolina by a basket, and Cal should be a top-15 team going into the season. Besides our trip to Hawaii, we're excited to play Missouri State in Kansas City this December. Competing against in-state schools is always tough, but it is fun for both our fans and our players."
The Tigers tip off their non-conference schedule on Nov. 15, hosting Western Illinois. Southeast Missouri State visits Columbia just two days later, meeting the Tigers for the 16th time in program history. Missouri owns a 14-1 record over the Redhawks.
Mizzou's non-conference slate is highlighted by a trip to the 2014 Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Classic, hosted by the University of Hawaii. The Tigers will face two tough opponents in UNLV and Cal. The Golden Bears advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season following a Final Four appearance in 2013.
Missouri returns home to host the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee followed by Loyola-Chicago on Dec. 3. Missouri holds a 3-0 advantage over the Ramblers, but the two teams have not met since the 1991-92 season.
Mizzou hits the road for a contest in Peoria, Ill., to face Bradley on Dec. 6, only to return to Columbia for a three-game home stand against Saint Louis (Dec. 8), Colorado (Dec. 12) and Northern Illinois (Dec. 14) from Dec. 8-14. This will be Missouri's first meeting against the Buffaloes since the 2010-11 season when both teams were members of the Big 12 Conference.
The Tigers will visit Wake Forest on Dec. 20 to meet the Demon Deacons for the first time in program history. Mizzou will then take on Tennessee-Martin (Dec. 22) at Mizzou Arena before closing non-conference play against Missouri State at the Sprint Center in Kansas City on Dec. 30.
For the fourth consecutive season, Mizzou opens conference play on the road, this time at Tennessee on Jan. 2. Missouri opens conference play at home just two days later, hosting Mississippi State. The Tigers' contest at Tennessee, set to tip off at 8 p.m. CT, will be the first of Mizzou's games on the SEC Network.
"You expect a battle every time you play an SEC opponent," Pingeton said. "Last year, our league was so competitive, from top to bottom. I think we can expect more of the same this season. When you look at how the SEC had two number one seeds in the NCAA tournament last year, along with five other teams in the tournament, you know the conference is tough. Add in that 13 out of 14 teams had the opportunity to play in the post-season, and you can't help but get excited about the competition level in our conference. It is a tough, tough league."
The Tigers head to Athens, Ga., to face Georgia before hosting both Florida and South Carolina. The Gamecocks finished last season ranked No. 8 in the nation by the Associated Press. Both home contests will also be broadcast on the SEC Network with the Tigers facing Florida at 3 p.m. and South Carolina at 8 p.m. Missouri will then head to rival Arkansas for another SEC Network contest on Jan. 18, before hosting Kentucky in a 4 p.m. contest on the network on Jan. 25. The Wildcats finished the 2013-14 season ranked 10th.
"Last season, we only had three home games on Sundays and this season we have six, so we're excited that our schedule will work better for our fans," Pingeton said. "It is going to be an exciting and challenging year."
Two road games are next up for the Tigers, as Mizzou will travel to Florida on Jan. 29, before the team visits LSU on Feb. 2. The two Tiger foes will face off in a 6 p.m. CT contest set to air on the SEC Network as well.
The Tigers then host Texas A&M on Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. before welcoming Auburn on Feb. 8. Mizzou visits Alabama on Feb. 12 for an 8 p.m. CT matchup on Fox Sports Net and returns to Mizzou Arena to welcome Ole Miss on Feb. 15. Missouri boasts a 3-1 record over the Rebels in program history.
A trip to Nashville to face Vanderbilt, followed by another road game at Texas A&M, concludes the month of February for Mizzou. The Tigers then close regular season play against Arkansas at Mizzou Arena on March 1.
The SEC Tournament will be played Wednesday, March 4 - Sunday, March 8 in Little Rock, Ark. The SEC Network will televise the first three days of the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament while the semifinals will be aired on ESPNU, with the championship game on ESPN.
For more information on Mizzou Women's Basketball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com or follow the team on Twitter (@MizzouWBB), Instagram (@MizzouWBB) or Facebook (facebook.com/MizzouWBB).
2014-2015 MIZZOU WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Home Games (Mizzou Arena) in BOLD
(Exhibition) vs. Lindenwood - 11/5/14 TBA
(Exhibition) vs. Missouri Western - 11/11/14 TBA
vs. Western Illinois - 11/15/14 TBA
vs. SEMO - 11/17/14 TBA
vs. UNLV - 11/21/14 (Honolulu, Hawai'i) 8:30 PM
vs. Cal - 11/23/14 (Honolulu, Hawai'i) 6:00 PM
vs. Milwaukee - 11/30/14 TBA
vs. Loyola (Ill.) - 12/03/14 TBA
at Bradley (Peoria, IL) - 12/06/14 TBA
vs. SLU - 12/08/14 TBA
vs. Colorado - 12/12/14 TBA
vs. Northern Illinois - 12/14/14 TBA
at Wake Forest (Winston-Salem, NC) - 12/20/14 TBA
vs. Tennessee-Martin - 12/22/14 TBA
vs. Missouri State - 12/30/14 (Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO) - TBA
at Tennesee - 01/02/15 at Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn.) 8:00 PM
vs. Mississippi State - 01/04/15 TBA
at Georgia - 01/08/15 (Athens, GA) TBA
vs. Florida - 01/11/15 3:00 PM
vs. South Carolina - 01/15/15 8:00 PM
at Arkansas - 01/18/15 (Fayetteville, AR) 2:00 PM
vs. Kentucky - 01/25/15 - 3:00 PM
at Florida - 01/29/15 (Gainesville, FL) TBA
at LSU - 02/02/15 (Baton Rouge, LA) 6:00 PM
vs. Texas A&M - 02/05/15 8:00 PM
vs. Auburn - 02/08/15 TBA
at Alabama - 02/12/15 (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) 8:00 PM
vs. Ole Miss - 02/15/15 TBA
at Vanderbilt - 02/22/15 (Nashville, TN) 1:00 PM
at Texas A&M - 02/26/15 (College Station, TX) TBA
vs. Arkansas - 03/01/15 TBA