COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Fresh off an Ohio Valley Conference regular season championship in 2012-13, the Tennessee Tech women's basketball team looks to challenge itself and spread its wings this season, facing teams from eight different conferences.
"We wanted a demanding non-conference schedule to prepare us for the Ohio Valley Conference," said head coach Jim Davis. "We have some key games on the road, including our in-state rival Middle Tennessee. We also have two SEC opponents on the road, and we head to Las Vegas for a tournament. All this competition will help us prepare for the Ohio Valley Conference schedule.
"We have included Top 100 teams in our schedule this season," he added. "In terms of RPI, it helps us playing a difficult schedule, but at the same time we have to beat those teams in order for us to move up in the RPI. I like to play good teams; I like to play teams that help us grow as a basketball team."
The Golden Eagles will open up the season with two NAIA opponents at home. Tech takes on Truett-McConnell in an exhibition game on Nov. 5, and follows with playing another NAIA foe in Tennessee Wesleyan on Saturday, Nov. 9, for the regular sason opener.
From there the Golden Eagles go on a stretch in which six of seven games are on the road. The team will travel to Mid-American Conference opponent Akron on Nov. 12. These two are no strangers as Akron is a former OVC member and the two matched up last season in Cookeville; Tech will look for revenge as Akron won, 78-67. Continuing on this road stretch, a trip to Mississippi State on Nov. 21 is on slate. Mississippi State is one of two Southeastern Conference opponents Tech will face.
Tech will return home for its lone home game of the seven-game stretch, playing Valparaiso, a Horizon League member, in the Eblen Center on Nov. 24.
The road stretch continues as Tech heads to Las Vegas to compete in the Radisson Hotel Chatsworth Thanksgiving Basketball Classic where they will take on two midwest opponents. First up will be Marquette, a Big East member, on Nov. 29. The Golden Eagles will then play their second MAC opponent, Ball State, on Nov. 30.
Just a few days later, the Golden Eagles will travel to the state of Alabama to wrap up the road stretch of games by playing Alcorn State, a Southwestern Athletic Conference member, on Dec. 5, followed by Sunbelt Conference member South Alabama on Dec. 7.
Davis' squad returns home for a two-game homestand. The Golden Eagles match-up with two Conference USA opponents in in-state foe Memphis (Dec. 14) and Florida International (Dec. 16).
Returning to the road, Tech will travel to Arkansas to play two games. First up will be Tech's second Sunbelt Conference opponent, Arkansas State, on Dec. 18, followed by SEC member Arkansas on Dec. 20.
Following the game with Arkansas, Tech will have an eight-day break for Christmas vacation. They will return to action in their first Ohio Valley Conference game versus Jacksonville State at home in Eblen Center on Dec. 28.
For the team's final non-conference game, Tech will head to Murfreesboro, Tenn., to take on one of two teams on the schedule who played in the 2012-13 NCAA tournament. On Jan. 2, Tech heads to Middle Tennessee to take on the in-state foe Lady Raiders. Last year, MTSU and Tech matched up in an overtime battle that looks to provide some motivation for the Tech, which lost, 65-59.
Tech will then continue on the road for OVC games in Nashville as they play Belmont and Tennessee State on Jan. 4 and 6.
Conference play continues as Tech hosts SIU Edwardsville and Eastern Illinois on Jan. 11 and 13.
On Jan. 20, Tech will head to Martin, Tenn.. to take on the UT Martin Skyhawks. These two teams last met in the OVC tournament championship game, where Tech fell, 87-80, making UTM the second team on the Tech schedule that appeared in the Big Dance.
Tech remains on the road to head to Austin Peay and Murray State on Jan. 25 and Jan. 27, respectively.
The Golden Eagles will be back at the Eblen Center five times in February as they take on Belmont, Tennessee State, Morehead State, Eastern Kentucky, and Southeastern Missouri. The home stand is broken up with a game on February 8 at Jacksonville State.
The regular season will close out with two away games at Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State on February 27 and March 1.
"I think this is a difficult schedule," said Davis. "Last year a majority of our games were at home, this year, a majority of our non-conference games are on the road. That in itself makes the schedule difficult. Hopefully we are mentally tough enough, but that is what this schedule does, it helps us prepare mentally and grow as a team. We have this motto, "respect all, fear none." It does not matter what league they are in, the scoreboard will always start off reading 0-0, and we are going out intending to win."