Aug. 7, 2013
Rice women's basketball released its 2013-14 schedule today, a slate that begins on Nov. 8 and features matchups with up to 16 postseason teams from 2013 and up to six NCAA Tournament Participants. Included in the schedule are matchups with former national champions Baylor, Old Dominion and Louisiana Tech, as well as cross-town rival Houston.
"Playing 13 non-conference games plus 5 new C-USA teams we have not played since I have been at Rice, makes it an interesting schedule," said Rice head coach Greg Williams. "We have continued our philosophy of playing a competitive non-conference schedule to hopefully prepare us for the new C-USA alignment and scheduling format."
The Owls have 14 home games in 2013-14, including games against Houston (Dec. 21), Louisiana Tech (Jan. 15), and Old Dominion (Feb. 19). Eleven of Rice's home opponents are regional foes from Texas or Louisiana. Rice makes non-conference road trips to two-time national champion Baylor (Nov. 18), Michigan State (Nov. 23) and to a tournament in Boulder, Colo. (Nov. 29-30).
Conference USA has revamped its scheduling format for the 2013-14 season, where the Owls face 14 of their league foes once, and face Louisiana Tech twice for sixteen home games under the one-year scheduling format. Conference games are on Wednesdays and Saturdays, a change from the Thursday-Sunday format a year ago.
Rice faces 11 squads that won 20-or-more games in 2012-13, and squares up against historic bluebloods of the sport that have combined for 21 Final Four appearances and eight national championships. Rice's opponents won 11 postseason games in 2013, marking appearances in at least the fourth round of all three postseason tournaments.
The Owls face six regular season or conference tournament champions from 2013 and three teams ranked by ESPN's Charlie Crème in his Preseason Top 25.
Rice begins their campaign by visiting Prairie View A&M on Nov. 8, who is coming off their third straight NCAA Tournament appearance and fifth appearance in the past seven years. The Owls have opened with Prairie View the previous two seasons, downing the Panthers 57-42 a year ago in Tudor Fieldhouse.
Tudor Fieldhouse opens its doors for the first home game of the 2013-14 season on Nov. 11, as Rice hosts 2013 SWAC Champion Texas Southern in a cross-town matchup, the first matchup between the schools since 1997-98.
Rice renews acquaintances with 2012 National Champion Baylor on Nov. 18 in Waco. The Bears, who defeated Rice at Tudor Fieldhouse last season, are coming off of a Sweet 16 Appearance and boast a 57-game home winning streak entering the year.
A Big Ten team plays host to the Owls for the first time since 1997 on Nov. 23, as Rice visits Michigan State. The Spartans advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament in 2012 and posted a 25-9 record.
The Owls travel to Boulder, Colo. on Nov. 29-30 to play in a tournament with Colorado, Samford and South Alabama. Pairings for the tournament have not yet been released.
Rice hosts cross-town rival Houston on Dec. 21, marking a continuation of the series that saw the Cougars sweep the Owls in 2012-13. The Owls and Cougars have met on the hardwood every season since 2005-06. The Owls non-conference schedule is rounded out with home games against Southern (Nov. 21), Sam Houston State (Nov. 26) Texas State (Dec. 5) and Incarnate Word (Jan. 3) and a road trip to Lamar (Dec. 29).
The Owls start Conference USA play with a swing to South Florida, facing FIU (Jan. 8) and Florida Atlantic (Jan. 11) to start off league play, before returning home to host Louisiana Tech and Marshall (Jan. 18).
Rice also welcomes Tulane (Jan. 29), Southern Miss (Feb. 1), UTSA (Feb. 15), three-time national champion Old Dominion (Feb. 19), North Texas (Feb. 26) and UTEP (Mar. 1) to Tudor Fieldhouse during conference play. The Owls face 2013 C-USA Tournament Champion Tulsa (Feb. 12), 2013 Sun Belt Champion Middle Tennessee (Feb. 8), as well as East Carolina (Jan. 22), Charlotte (Jan. 25), Louisiana Tech (Feb. 22) and UAB (Mar. 5) on the road.
The March 1 contest against UTEP marks Senior Day, as Jessica Kuster, the lone Owl senior, plays her last home game at Tudor Fieldhouse. The Owls have been a thorn in UTEP's side the past two seasons, handing the Miners two losses at the Haskins Center, where UTEP has been 12-2 against all other C-USA teams in that span. However, UTEP has won the last two matchups at Tudor Fieldhouse.
The 2013 Conference USA Tournament takes place in El Paso, Texas from Mar. 11-15. All 16 schools qualify for the C-USA Tournament.
Nov. 8 - at Prairie View A&M
Nov. 11 - Texas Southern
Nov. 14 - at McNeese State
Nov. 18 - at Baylor
Nov. 21 - Southern
Nov. 23 - at Michigan State
Nov. 26 - Sam Houston State
Nov. 29 - Samford, South Alabama, or Colorado
Nov. 30 - Championship/Consolation
Dec. 5 - Texas State
Dec. 21 - Houston
Dec. 29 - at Lamar
Jan. 3 - Incarnate Word
Jan. 8 - at FIU *
Jan. 11 - at Florida Atlantic *
Jan. 15 - Louisiana Tech *
Jan. 18 - Marshall *
Jan. 22 - at East Carolina *
Jan. 25 - at Charlotte *
Jan. 29 - Tulane *
Feb. 1 - Southern Miss *
Feb. 8 - at Middle Tennessee *
Feb. 12 - at Tulsa *
Feb. 15 - UTSA *
Feb. 19 - Old Dominion *
Feb. 22 - at Louisiana Tech *
Feb. 26 - North Texas *
Mar. 1 - UTEP *
Mar. 5 - at UAB *
Mar. 11-15 - C-USA Tournament