COLLEGE STATION- Texas A&M released its non-conference women’s basketball schedule today, which features games against nine postseason teams from 2013-14, including games against Duke, Texas, Washington and a 2014 Sweet 16 rematch with DePaul to open the season.
“This is a top non-conference schedule, which along with the always-competitive SEC schedule, hopefully puts us to be in a strong position to reach the NCAA Tournament for the 10th straight year, and to host first-and-second rounds for the fourth straight year,” said Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair. “I like the balance of the schedule, and I like being able to play eight teams from the state of Texas.”
The Aggies open their season at the Maggie Dixon Classic in Chicago, taking on hosts DePaul, New Mexico and Texas-Pan American. DePaul won the Big East Conference in 2014, and had their tournament run ended in the Sweet 16 by the Aggies. ESPN’s Charlie Crème ranks DePaul as the No. 22 team in the nation in his Pre-preseason Top 25.
Reed Arena opens its doors for the first time on Nov. 19 for former Southwest Conference foe Rice. That game opens a five-game homestand that includes previously-announced games against Duke (Nov. 30) and Elementary School Day against 2014 Southland champion Northwestern State (Dec. 3). 2014 SWAC champion Prairie View A&M (Nov. 24) and 2014 WBI participant McNeese State (Nov. 26) also visit during that homestand.
A&M then visits the DFW Metroplex for two games, taking on 2014 WNIT participants TCU (Dec. 7) and SMU (Dec. 9) on a two-game road swing. The Aggies return home on Dec. 13 to face Houston.
“Getting a chance to go to the Dallas-Fort Worth area is very important for our four student-athletes from the area, our recruiting efforts, and for the former students and fans in the area,” added Blair.
The previously-announced SEC-Big 12 Challenge, in North Little Rock, Ark., has the Aggies face 2014 NCAA Tournament Participant Texas on Dec. 21. The Aggies go to Seattle on Dec. 29 to face off against Pac-12 foe and 2014 WNIT quarterfinalist Washington, before closing out the non-conference slate with North Texas on Dec. 31 in Reed Arena.
Five of the Aggies’ 14 non-conference opponents reached the NCAA Tournament in 2014, and six opponents had Top 100 RPIs in 2013-14.
Texas A&M went 27-9 in 2013-14 and reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, before falling to eventual National Champion Connecticut. The Aggies return 83% of their scoring in 2014-15, and have been ranked fourth by both ESPN’s Charlie Crème and Sports Illustrated’s Richard Dietsch in the early 2014-15 rankings.
2014-15 Texas A&M Women's Basketball Non-Conference Schedule
Nov. 14 - at DePaul (Chicago, Ill.)
Nov. 15 - vs. New Mexico (Chicago, Ill.)
Nov. 16 - vs. Texas-Pan American (Chicago, Ill.)
Nov. 19 - Rice (Reed Arena)
Nov. 24 - Prairie View A&M (Reed Arena)
Nov. 26 - McNeese State (Reed Arena)
Nov. 30 - Duke (Reed Arena)
Dec. 3 - Northwestern State (Elementary School Day - Reed Arena)
Dec. 7 - at TCU (Ft. Worth, Texas)
Dec. 9 - at SMU (Dallas, Texas)
Dec. 13 - Houston (Reed Arena)
Dec. 21 - vs. Texas (SEC/Big 12 Challenge - North Little Rock, Ark.)
Dec. 29 - at Washington (Seattle, Wash.)
Dec. 31 - North Texas (Reed Arena)