Women’s Basketball Releases 2013-14 Schedule
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- The Western Michigan women’s basketball team has announced its 2013-14 schedule, which includes 29 regular-season games, 15 of which are at home.
The season begins with a pair of exhibition games, followed by 11 non-conference games. The Broncos then head into their 18-game Mid-American Conference schedule, which has been expanded by two games from previous years’ 16-game conference format.
A total of 12 of WMU’s opponents reached post-season play last year, including four NCAA Tournament participants, seven WNIT participants and the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI) champion. Conferences the Broncos will cross paths with include the SEC, Big Ten, Horizon League, Conference USA, Atlantic 10, America East, Summit League and WAC.
“We are pleased with the non-conference schedule we have put together for this staff’s second season,” said second-year head coach Shane Clipfell. “We have home games with in-state rivals University of Detroit, University of Michigan and Oakland University. Our opening weekend includes games at UMass and at a very talented University of Albany team. We will also venture down into SEC territory when we travel to University of Arkansas.”
Western Michigan hosts U-M Dearborn (11/1) and Trine (11/5) in exhibition before opening the season with a two-game road trip to UMass (11/8) and two-time defending America East champion Albany (11/10). Western Michigan returns to Kalamazoo to host WBI champion Detroit (11/13) and highlights the non-conference schedule with a home game against Michigan (11/18). Other non-conference games include away games at Tulsa (11/22), Arkansas (11/24), Chicago State (12/1) and Valparaiso (12/29), as well as home games against IUPUI (12/4), UIC (12/18) and Oakland (12/22).
Five of the non-conference opponents are coming off 20-plus win seasons. Both Michigan and Albany made NCAA Tournament appearances, while Arkansas and IUPUI were selected for the WNIT.
The Mid-American Conference schedule features nine home games and nine road games, and begins with a trip to Miami Jan. 4. The Broncos host Buffalo three days later on Jan. 7 for in their first home MAC game.
Other home conference games are against Toledo (1/18), Miami (1/22), defending MAC champion Central Michigan (1/25), Northern Illinois (2/1), Kent State (2/15), Ohio (2/19), Eastern Michigan (2/26) and Ball State (3/1). The remaining conference road games include Ohio (1/12), EMU (1/15), BSU (1/29), Bowling Green (2/5), Akron (2/8), Toledo (2/23), CMU (3/5) and NIU (3/8). The schedule is set that the Broncos play each of the teams from the West, as well as Miami and Ohio from the East twice.
Central Michigan represented the MAC in the NCAA Tournament last year, while Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Miami and Toledo participated in the WNIT. Four MAC teams posted 20-plus win seasons.
This year’s MAC Tournament begins Monday, March 10 on campus sites. Teams will move to Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena beginning Wednesday, March 12 for the second round.
“We are still a relatively young team with only one senior on the roster but we feel like this group is comfortable with what we are trying to accomplish and how we are going about it,” Clipfell said. “This schedule will certainly challenge our squad from beginning to end and will have us ready for the always rigorous Mid-American Conference schedule.”
In his first season in 2012-13, Clipfell led the Broncos to the most wins for the program in five years with a 11-20 overall, 6-10 MAC record. The Broncos also advanced to the second round of the MAC Tournament for first time since 2008. The current WMU team features nine returning letterwinners, as well as its top two scorers and rebounders from 2012-13.