RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University women’s basketball head coach Chrissy Roberts released the schedule for the upcoming 2016-17 season on Tuesday.
The Colonels are coming off a run for the Ohio Valley Conference championship last year, as EKU picked up two tournament wins to advance to the championship game for the first time since 2005. EKU finished the season 18-12 and 10-6 in league play.
EKU opens the season with three of its first four contests at home. The Colonels welcome Young Harris College on Nov. 5, before Bowling Green State University visits McBrayer Arena on Nov. 11.
Following the two-game home stand, the Colonels will travel to Kent State University before coming back to Richmond to take on Western Carolina University on Nov. 22.
In the final week of November, the Colonels will travel westbound for the Show Me State to partake in the University of Missouri Kansas City Thanksgiving Tournament. EKU, Western Michigan University and Morgan State University, along with the host will make up the event’s four team field.
The Colonels welcome in-state rival and Conference USA member, Western Kentucky University, to McBrayer Arena on Nov. 30. The Hilltoppers posted a 27-7 season last year and fell to Marshall in the conference championship game, 66-63. WKU rolled to three wins in the WNIT, including a 78-76 overtime win at Saint Louis, before losing to eventual tournament champion, South Dakota.
EKU will head back to Missouri to square off Saint Louis University on Dec. 3, before returning to Richmond for home contests against the University of Akron and Ohio Valley University. The Billikens of Saint Louis went 13-3 in Atlantic 10 play last season, winning 14 of 16 home contests before the loss to WKU in the WNIT ended their season.
The Colonels will join Miami (Ohio) University and Indiana Purdue University Fort Wayne in Dayton, Ohio for the Muli-Teams Events Tournament hosted by Wright State beginning Dec. 19. EKU will close out the 2016 calendar year on the road at University of North Carolina Greensboro before opening OVC play at Southeast Missouri State University on New Year’s Eve.
Following the conference opener, the Colonels will return home to host Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and Eastern Illinois University in their first home conference contests. EKU will then take on defending OVC tournament champions, Belmont University, on Jan. 11. The Colonels fell to the Bruins in the title game last year at the Municipal Auditorium. The Bruins later lost to Michigan State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, finishing the season 24-9.
Coach Roberts’ squad sent shock waves through the OVC with a 70-61 win over the league favorite, UT Martin, at home. However, this year the Colonels will travel to Martin, Tennessee on Feb. 4 and Murray State University on Feb. 6.
EKU will also hit the road to Tennessee State on Feb. 18 and Jacksonville State University on Feb. 22 before closing out the regular season on Feb. 25 at home against Tennessee Tech. EKU held off the Golden Eagles last season in Cookeville with a 71-67 win in overtime in the regular season finale.
The OVC Tournament is scheduled for March 1-4 in Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium.
EKU returns two of its leading scorers from last year’s team in seniors Jalen O’Bannon and Michaela Hunter. The two combined for more than 29 points-per-game and 14 rebounds-per-game for the Colonels last season.