Story by Cody Bush, APSU Sports Information
Photo courtesy of Brittney Sparn, APSU Sports Information
CLARKSVILLE – Thirteen home games will dot Austin Peay State University women’s basketball schedule in 2013-14, head coach Carrie Daniels announced Monday.
With a roster dominated by underclassmen – 11 of the 15 Lady Govs are freshmen or sophomores – Daniels set out to prepare a non-conference schedule that will provide opportunities for wins while also testing her team. In that regard, she has scheduled six games against teams that posted no better than a .500 record last season. However, Daniels also has seven non-conference opponents that posted a winning record in 2012-13.
“I always strive for balance when I’m preparing our schedule each season,” said Daniels. “I believe this season’s schedule is probably the most balanced in terms of opponents across the spectrum of competition. Being a young team, we won’t be able to overlook anyone, but if we improve as the season goes along I believe we will be able to compete throughout the schedule.”
The Lady Govs 2013-14 slate begins with a home exhibition contest against Martin Methodist, Nov. 3. Six days later the regular-season slate starts with a contest at Western Kentucky, the first meeting between the two teams since 2005-06. It also is APSU’s lone game against a team with a winning record in the season’s first month. APSU’s season-opening two-game road trip continues with a Nov. 12 contest at Southern Illinois.
Austin Peay will conclude November with three home contests in a four-game span. The Lady Govs host Arkansas State (Nov. 15), Evansville (Nov. 23) and Central Arkansas (Nov. 30) with a Nov. 18 matchup against Lipscomb breaking up the stretch.
December’s arrival will mark the beginning of the Lady Govs toughest stretch of games as four of APSU’s opponents during the month reached last season’s NCAA Tournament. Two of those teams will visit the Dunn Center – Middle Tennessee (Dec. 4) and Chattanooga (Dec. 18) – while the Lady Govs will visit 2012-13 national runner-up Louisville (Dec. 14) and Wichita State (Dec. 21). In addition, the Lady Govs will travel to new Big East member Xavier (Dec. 7) and Southeastern Conference foe Mississippi (Dec. 30).
The contest against Wichita State is the opener of the WSU Christmas Classic, Austin Peay’s lone in-season tournament. The Lady Govs also will square off against Nebraska-Omaha, a program in the second year of a move from Division II to Division I.
“Our non-conference slate seems to get off to a quiet start but there are dangerous opponents in that first month,” said Daniels. “I’m sure the bulk of attention will be paid to who we play in December, particularly with a trip to Louisville, which made an incredible run in the tournament last season. I’m looking forward to seeing how this team will step up to the challenge of this schedule.”
The Ohio Valley Conference slate begins as the calendar rolls over to 2014. The upcoming season’s slate is a mirror image of last season’s schedule and will begin with home contests against Southeast Missouri (Jan. 4) and UT Martin (Jan. 6). A four-game road-trip follows with trips to Murray State (Jan. 11), Morehead State (Jan. 13), Eastern Illinois (Jan. 18) and SIU Edwardsville (Jan. 20).
The season’s next nine games are split into three three-game pods. First is a three-game homestand that includes contests against Tennessee Tech (Jan. 25) and Murray State (Feb. 1). Next up is a three-game road trip with visits to Tennessee State (Feb. 8) and Belmont (Feb. 10). Finally, a three-game stanza, including a Feb. 22 home finale against Eastern Kentucky, concludes the home slate.
Austin Peay concludes its regular-season schedule with a March 1 contest at UT Martin. The Lady Govs will have at least four days to prepare for the OVC Women’s Basketball Championship, which begins March 5 at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville.