MSU women open hoops season against Orediggers

BOZEMAN — The 2015-16 edition of Montana State women’s basketball will open its season hosting Montana Tech in exhibition action Nov. 4, before beginning regular-season play at Seattle University Nov. 13, Bobcat head coach Tricia Binford announced Wednesday afternoon.

In all, MSU will play 29 games during its 2015-16 campaign, culminating with the Big Sky Conference Tournament in Reno, Nevada, March 7-12. This year’s schedule is highlighted with non-conference home games against Portland, San Diego and Cal State Fullerton. Six of this winter’s opponents saw postseason action during 2014-15, accounting for eight victories.

The Bobcats open at SU, before finishing the weekend at Nevada on Nov. 15. Last November, MSU defeated Seattle 74-61 in Worthington Arena. Montana State will host Portland and San Diego, Nov. 20 and 24, respectively, before traveling to Cal Poly for tournament play Nov. 27-28 against Evansville and the Mustangs.

“We like the challenge of starting on the road as it will be critical for us this season to find ways to win away from the Fieldhouse,” said Binford, who enters her 11th season at the helm of the Bobcat program.

MSU will host Cal State Fullerton on December 3, before traveling to Spokane, Washington to face perennial power Gonzaga Dec. 6. The Zags advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in March. The Bobcats will play two home games against UM Western and Carroll College on Dec. 15 and 21, respectively. Sandwiched between the two Frontier Conference foes is a tilt at the University of Wyoming, Dec. 19 in Laramie.

“I think we have a terrific preseason schedule that is evenly balanced with home and away games,” Binford said.

Montana State will open Big Sky Conference action hosting Southern Utah at 2 p.m., on New Year’s Eve. The annual Cat-Griz clashes – Brawl of the Wild – are slated for Jan. 30 in Bozeman and Feb. 20 in Missoula. In its 18-game league slate, MSU will face Eastern Washington, Idaho, Idaho State and Weber State once, while playing home and away contests at the other seven Big Sky schools.

MSU returns nine letterwinners from last season’s team that posted a 15-15 overall mark and a 9-9 league ledger. In addition, the Bobcats welcome back three starters, including Second-Team All-Big Sky performer Jasmine Hommes as well as Alexa Dawkins and Lindsay Stockton. Big Sky Conference 2014-15 Top Reserve of the Year Peyton Ferris also returns to the Bobcat roster.

2015-16 Montana State Schedule

Nov. 4          Montana Tech (ex)

Nov. 13         at Seattle

Nov. 15         at Nevada

Nov. 20         Portland

Nov. 24         San Diego

Nov. 27         vs. Evansville

Nov. 28         at Cal Poly

Dec. 3           Cal State Fullerton

Dec. 6           at Gonzaga

Dec. 15         UM Western

Dec. 19         at Wyoming

Dec. 21         Carroll College

Dec. 31         Southern Utah*

Jan. 2           Northern Arizona*

Jan. 7           at Sacramento State*

Jan. 9           at Portland State*

Jan. 14          North Dakota*

Jan. 16          Northern Colorado*

Jan. 21          at Eastern Washington*

Jan. 23          at Idaho*

Jan. 30          Montana*

Feb. 4           Portland State*

Feb. 6           Sacramento State*

Feb. 11         at Northern Arizona*

Feb. 13         at Southern Utah*

Feb. 20         at Montana*

Feb. 25         Weber State*

Feb. 27         Idaho State*

March 2         at Northern Colorado*

March 4         at North Dakota*

March 7-12    at Big Sky Conference Tournament

*=Big Sky Conference Game

— MSU Sports Information

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