Women's basketball releases non-conference slate
MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) —
Five games against postseason qualifiers – North Carolina State (NCAA), Central Arkansas (NCAA), Southern Mississippi (WNIT), Jacksonville (WNIT) and Ole Miss (WNIT) – highlight the 2017-18 University of South Alabama women's basketball non-conference schedule released Wednesday.
The Jag women will face four more postseason qualifiers during conference play – Troy (NCAA), Texas-Arlington (WNIT), Texas State (WNIT) and Little Rock (WNIT), bringing the total number of postseason participants to nine.
Included in the non-conference schedule is a road trip to North Carolina to take on Atlantic Coast Conference foes NC State and North Carolina, a road matchup against Ole Miss, a trip to traditional rival Southern Miss and a home contest against Central Arkansas.
UCA finished 26-5 a year ago and made the program's second straight NCAA Tournament appearance, while USM, NC State and JU each won 23 games.
"It's a very talented schedule," USA head coach Terry Fowler said. "You look at it and we have five teams on (the non-conference schedule) that participated in some form or fashion of postseason play last season."
The Jaguars play host to Faulkner for an exhibition game on Nov. 2, before officially kicking off the 2017-18 campaign with a home contest against Georgia Southwestern a week later on Nov. 10.
South continues action the following week with a pair of road matchups in the state of North Carolina as they take on NC State in Raleigh on Nov. 17, and then head west on I-40 to Chapel Hill for a contest against UNC on Nov. 19. The meeting versus the Tar Heels will be the first ever for the Jags, while USA and the Wolfpack faced each other last season in Mobile.
"We come right out of the gate with those two (NC State and UNC)," Fowler said. "NC State visited us last year and we saw what they are capable of. Then when you see the deep run they made in the NCAA Tournament and we understand why our young ladies also understand what they have to do. We put in the work in the weight room in the offseason to get ready for that type of talent against ACC opponents."
After returning home to take on New Orleans on Nov. 24, the Jaguars head back on the road for a pair of matchups at Alabama State on Nov. 28 and Southern Miss on Nov. 30.
South hosts Jacksonville for a Dec. 3 contest, before heading to Ole Miss for its final road non-conference game of the season on Dec. 9.
The Jaguars wrap-up their non-conference and pre-Christmas slate with three home contests against Southern on Dec. 11, Central Arkansas on Dec. 16, and Alabama-Birmingham on Dec. 21.
"We have a great mix. We start on the road, and then finish up the month of December at home with a lot of home games," Fowler commented. "Hopefully we can learn a lot of things from our road contests and carry that over as we finish our non-conference schedule and head into Sun Belt play."
The '17-18 Sun Belt Conference slate was released in June. Game times for the exhibition game and for all 29 regular season contests will be announced at a later date.
For more information about South Alabama athletics, check back with www.usajaguars.com, and follow the Jaguars at www.twitter.com/USAJaguarSports. Season tickets for all Jaguar athletic events can be purchased by calling (251) 461-1USA (1872).
Join the Hardwood Club, the women's basketball specific support club of the Jaguar Athletic Fund. All gifts to the Hardwood Club go directly to support the South Alabama women's basketball program. For more information on how you can join visit: jaguarathleticfund.com/hardwoodclub.