MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team has released its 2012-13 schedule and the slate includes games against three teams which made runs in the this past season’s NCAA Tournament and the defending national champions, Baylor.
The Skyhawk women will host both Louisville and Purdue in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center and travel to Hawaii where they will play in the Wahine Classic against Stanford, host Hawaii and Baylor.
The Skyhawk women will also host Arkansas State, Central Arkansas, Saint Louis and Indiana State.
“Louisville and Purdue at home is a tremendous opportunity for our university and our program,” UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan said. “This is also a great opportunity for our fans to see two top 25 teams in action here in Martin. We are committed to bringing the top teams in the country to Martin as we did with Vanderbilt last year and we are excited to have these two teams coming.”
The non-conference road schedule is just as tough. The Skyhawks will open the season on the road at Northwestern No. 9 and then travel to Hawaii to play in the Wahine Classic Nov. 16-18. The Skyhawks will close out November at Evansville on No. 28 and then travel to Missouri to battle the Southeastern Conference’s newest member on Dec. 3.
“We are excited about a trip to Hawaii for a number of reasons,” McMillan said. “One of course, is that it is one of the most beautiful states in the country and somewhere most student-athletes might never get to see. Another reason is for the history and culture the island has to offer, again something most never get to see first-hand. The three days of games out there will be the most challenging in UTM’s history with the host school followed by two final four teams in Baylor and Stanford.”
“We will see first-hand what the top teams in the country can do and get to see possibly the best college women’s basketball player ever in Brittany Griner,” McMillan said. “Playing tradition-rich Stanford, along with defending NCAA champion Baylor and Hawaii aligns with what we believe will lead us back to being the best team we can be.”
The Skyhawks will return home and open a four-game homestand against Saint Louis, Purdue, Indiana State and Southern Miss.
The two-time defending Ohio Valley Conference champions, UT Martin, will close out their non-conference slate at UAB on Dec. 22 and open the OVC slate on Dec. 29 at Southeast Missouri State.
This year’s OVC slate includes home games against Jacksonvile State, Murray State, Morehead State, Eastern Kentucky, SIU Edwardsville, Southeast Missouri State and Eastern Illinois.
The conference slate also has the Skyhawks playing on the road at Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech and the league’s newest member Belmont.
“The OVC schedule this year will be a new challenge with the addition of Belmont and SIUE to the tournament and the split divisions,” McMillan said.
The OVC will be split into two divisions, the East and the West. The East will include Belmont, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Morehead State, Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech. The West includes Austin Peay, Eastern Illinois, Murray State, SIU Edwardsville, Southeast Missouri State and UT Martin.
“We hope we are playing our best basketball come tournament time (March 6-9 at Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium) and our entire schedule is built to do just that,” McMillan said. “There are some really good teams in the OVC this year and it should be a great year.”