Musketeers primed for non-conference slate with nine matchups at Cintas
Newswire photo by Marissa Nelson | The Xavier women’s basketball team will have home court advantage in a majority of its non-conference games before it heads into Big East play. The team captured seven out-of-conference victories last season.
Xavier women’s basketball non-conference play looks to be diverse and promising with the Musketeers taking on teams from 11 different conferences while hosting nine home games.
Throughout the last four seasons, the Musketeers have won 34 non-conference games, including a 28-4 record at Cintas Center.
The team’s dependable home play should serve it well during non-conference action.
Nine of the 11 games are at home this season — the second most in school history following 10 non-conference home games played in the 2015-16 season.
The Musketeers’ season kicks off at home versus Chicago State next Wednesday. The Cougars belong to the Western Athletic Conference and finished last season with a 1-29 record.
However, the Cougars should be better competition this year given they just acquired a new head coach, Misty Opat.
Opat led Rock Valley College to four NJCAA Division III National Championships in the last seven years.
Xavier then plays Tennessee Tech — a team in the Ohio Valley Conference who finished with a 7-22 record last season.
The Musketeers also take on Minnesota for the second straight season.
The Golden Gophers recently hired former Minnesota All-American Lindsay Whalen to be their new head coach for the upcoming season.
Minnesota is expected to be a quality opponent since last year’s team finished its season with a winning 24-9 record while also making it to the NCAA Tournament — losing to Oregon in the second round.
The fourth annual Lauren Hill Tipoff Classic is set for Nov. 17 when Xavier will face off with Fairfield for the first time in school history at Cintas Center.
This game honors Lauren Hill, a Mt. St. Joseph basketball player who passed away from brain cancer in 2015. The tournament raises awareness for The Cure Starts Now Foundation.
The following week, the Musketeers will travel to Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The Demon Deacons finished last season with a 14-17 overall record.
Xavier will be back in town at the end of November to play Bowling Green.
The Falcons finished with an 11-19 overall record last season and recently hired a new head coach, Robyn Fralick. She has a head coaching record of 104-3, the best in NCAA history at any level.
After taking on the Falcons, Xavier faces North Alabama on Dec. 2.
This will be the first time Xavier competes against North Alabama, a member of the Atlantic Sun conference who ended the 2017-18 season with a 24-5 record.
The Musketeers will then take on Delaware State at Cintas on Dec. 9. The Hornets had an overall record of 6-24 last season.
The Musketeers look to defend their Crosstown Shootout title on Dec. 16 against the University of Cincinnati. This year, the game will be played on the road.
Xavier has won 11 out of the last 14 games against the Bearcats, including a nail biting 53-50 Xavier victory last season.
The Musketeers will be playing Alabama State for the first time in school history on Dec. 18. Last year, the Hornets finished their season with an overall record of 8-22.
Finally, Dec. 22 marks the end of out-of-conference matchups when Xavier takes on New Orleans.
The Privateers finished their 2017-18 season with a 15-15 record.
Big East play begins on Dec. 29 when Xavier travels to the nation’s capital to open its conference slate against Georgetown.
By: Emilie Kracik | Staff Writer