STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State will pick up where it left off last season as the Bulldogs begin the 2014-15 non-conference slate in the Preseason WNIT.
Following a Nov. 9 exhibition against Arkansas-Fort Smith, MSU opens the campaign and the WNIT with a Nov. 14 contest against Mercer, a squad that returns three starters from last season’s 17-14 team. The game will be the second half of a men’s-women’s doubleheader, as Rick Ray’s Bulldogs will face Western Carolina at 5:30 p.m.
Vic Schaefer’s squad is one of nine in the 16-team field to make the postseason a year ago. Like MSU, three other squads advanced to the WNIT while five teams went to the NCAA Tournament.
State will be guaranteed three games in the tournament, and a win in the first round would pit the Dawgs against either Jackson State or another WNIT squad, Arkansas State.
“I’m excited about our schedule. It’s a challenging schedule and a step up from where we’ve been our first two years here,” Schaefer said. “Being in the Preseason WNIT is a great opportunity, and playing our first two games at home against quality opponents will be big for us.”
The WNIT semifinals are set for Nov. 20, while the championship game will be played Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. CST on the CBS Sports Network.
Following the Preseason WNIT, Mississippi State will play four of its next five in Humphrey Coliseum, beginning with a Nov. 25 contest against Louisiana-Monroe.
State hits the road to face New Orleans Nov. 29 before returning home for a three-game stretch that includes North Dakota State (Dec. 2), Southeastern Louisiana (Dec. 7) and Louisiana Tech (Dec. 11).
The Bulldogs venture to Hattiesburg Dec. 14 for a rematch of the WNIT second round against Southern Miss. The following day State hosts Mississippi Valley State before heading back to Louisiana Dec. 17 to meet Louisiana-Lafayette.
Mississippi State heads from Louisiana straight to Las Vegas to participate in the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic at South Point Hotel Arena. MSU will face defending WBI champion Illinois-Chicago Dec. 20 at 9:30 p.m. CST and Miami (Ohio) at 4 p.m. the following day.
“We have some road games that are certainly concerning for me as the head coach. We are going into some places to play some teams that are notoriously well-coached and disciplined,” Schaefer said. “The trip to Las Vegas right before Christmas will give us a good opportunity to show a different part of the country who we are and what we are about.”
The Bulldogs wrap the pre-conference slate at home Dec. 29 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Fans can order season tickets by calling 1-888-GO-DAWGS or by visiting www.hailstate.com/tickets.
Mississippi State Women’s Basketball
Nov. 9 (Sun.) - Arkansas-Fort Smith (Exhibition) - 2 p.m.
Nov. 14 (Fri.) - % Mercer - 8 p.m.
Nov. 16 - % WNIT Second Round
Nov. 20 - % WNIT Semifinals
Nov. 23 - % WNIT Championship (CBS Sports Network) - 2 p.m.
Nov. 25 (Tues.) - Louisiana-Monroe - 7 p.m.
Nov. 29 (Sat.) - at New Orleans - 2 p.m.
Dec. 2 (Tues.) - North Dakota State - 7 p.m.
Dec. 7 (Sun.) - Southeastern Louisiana - 2 p.m.
Dec. 11 (Thurs.) - Louisiana Tech - 7 p.m.
Dec. 14 (Sun.) - at Southern Mississippi - 2 p.m.
Dec. 15 (Mon.) - Mississippi Valley State - 7 p.m.
Dec. 17 (Wed.) - at Louisiana-Lafayette - 11 a.m.
Dec. 20 (Sat.) - ^ Illinois-Chicago - 9:30 p.m.
Dec. 21 (Sun.) - ^ Miami (Ohio) - 4 p.m.
Dec. 29 (Mon.) - Arkansas-Pine Bluff - 7 p.m.
% - Women’s NIT
^ - Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic (South Point Hotel Arena; Las Vegas, Nev.)
Home Games In Bold
All Times Central
Times Subject To Change