The Western Kentucky women’s basketball team will compete against 12 teams that participated in postseason play last season during its 2012-13 schedule that was released this morning.
The 29-game schedule features 14 regular-season home games, a renewed rivalry with Vanderbilt and three games against in-state opponents Murray State, Morehead State and Northern Kentucky.
The Lady Toppers, who finished 9-21 last season, will also face their first 20-game Sun Belt Conference schedule, as they will play each of the other 10 league foes twice.
“I’m really excited about the competition we will face during our 2012-13 season,” new coach Michelle Clark-Heard said in a statement. “We have an exciting home schedule that I think our fans will enjoy, as well as a number of regional rivalries that will make for an exciting atmosphere every night we step out on the court.”
After an exhibition game Nov. 2 against Harding University, WKU will kick off the regular season with two games in the state.
The Lady Toppers open Nov. 9 with a trip to Murray State, then return to E.A. Diddle Arena at 5:30 p.m. CST Nov. 19 to host Northern Kentucky in the home opener. The contest against NKU, which is in its first season at the Division I level, will also be the 30th annual BB&T Classic.
After that, WKU will play its earliest Sun Belt game ever Nov. 19 at home against Florida International. A three-game homestand ends Nov. 24 against Illinois State.
The Lady Toppers play two league road games at Louisiana-Monroe (Nov. 29) and Troy (Dec. 1) before Vanderbilt visits Diddle Arena at 7 p.m. Dec. 4.
WKU hits the road to face Morehead State and Kent State on Dec. 6 and 9, respectively, then plays its final home nonconference game Dec. 16 against Southeast Missouri State.
The non-league schedule comes to a close before the new year with a trip to Dayton, Ohio, to take part in a four-team tournament at Wright State.
WKU will face the host Raiders in an opening-round game Dec. 19, while St. Francis (Pa.) and Florida A&M square off in the other contest. The consolation and championship games will take place Dec. 21.
After an eight-day break, the Lady Toppers begin a run of 17 straight conference games with a home date Dec. 29 against North Texas. The 2013 slate opens with trips to Arkansas-Little Rock (Jan. 3) and Arkansas State (Jan. 6), followed by three straight home games against Florida Atlantic (Jan. 12), Louisiana-Lafayette (Jan. 16) and UALR (Jan. 19).
The Lady Toppers will make trips to South Alabama on Jan. 23 and Middle Tennessee on Jan. 27, and host Troy on Jan. 30 to close out the month.
In February, WKU will face trips to North Texas (Feb. 7), FAU (Feb. 13), FIU (Feb. 16) and ULL (Feb. 23), as well as home dates against Arkansas State (Feb. 9), ULM (Feb. 20) and South Alabama (Feb. 27). The regular season will come to a close at 2 p.m. March 2 against Middle Tennessee, which will be part of a home doubleheader with the men’s program.
WKU will play 13 doubleheaders with coach Ray Harper’s Hilltoppers, including seven at home.
The Sun Belt Conference Tournament takes place March 8-11 in Hot Springs, Ark.
Lady Toppers’ 2012-13 schedule
Nov. 2 Fri Harding (Exhibition) Bowling Green, Ky. 6 p.m.
Nov. 9 Fri at Murray State Murray, Ky. TBA
Nov. 17 Sat (1) Northern Kentucky Bowling Green, Ky. 5:30 p.m.
Nov. 19 Mon Florida International* Bowling Green, Ky. 7 p.m.
Nov. 24 Sat Illinois State Bowling Green, Ky. 5:30 p.m.
Nov. 29 Thur at Louisiana-Monroe* Monroe, La. TBA
Dec. 1 Sat at Troy* Troy, Ala. TBA
Dec. 4 Tue Vanderbilt Bowling Green, Ky. 7 p.m.
Dec. 6 Thur at Morehead State Morehead, Ky. TBA
Dec. 9 Sun at Kent State Kent, Ohio 1 p.m.
Dec. 16 Sun Southeast Missouri State Bowling Green, Ky. 2 p.m.
Dec. 19 Wed (2) at Wright State Dayton, Ohio TBA
Dec. 21 Fri (2) vs. St. Francis (Pa.) or Florida A&M Dayton, Ohio TBA
Dec. 29 Sat North Texas* Bowling Green, Ky. 4 p.m.
Jan. 3 Thur at UALR* Little Rock, Ark. TBA
Jan. 6 Sun at Arkansas State* Jonesboro, Ark. TBA
Jan. 12 Sat Florida Atlantic* Bowling Green, Ky. 4 p.m.
Jan. 16 Wed Louisiana-Lafayette* Bowling Green, Ky. 7 p.m.
Jan. 19 Sat UALR* Bowling Green, Ky. 2 p.m.
Jan. 23 Wed at South Alabama* Mobile, Ala. TBA
Jan. 27 Sun at Middle Tennessee* Murfreesboro, Tenn. TBA
Jan. 30 Wed Troy* Bowling Green, Ky. 7 p.m.
Feb. 7 Thur at North Texas* Denton, Texas TBA
Feb. 9 Sat Arkansas State* Bowling Green, Ky. 4 p.m.
Feb. 13 Wed at Florida Atlantic* Boca Raton, Fla. TBA
Feb. 16 Sat at Florida International* Miami, Fla. TBA
Feb. 20 Wed Louisiana-Monroe* Bowling Green, Ky. 7 p.m.
Feb. 23 Sat at Louisiana-Lafayette* Lafayette, La. TBA
Feb. 27 Wed South Alabama* Bowling Green, Ky. 7 p.m.
March 2 Sat Middle Tennessee* Bowling Green, Ky. 2 p.m.
March 8-11 Fri-Mon Sun Belt Conference Tournament Hot Springs, Ark. TBA
* Sun Belt Conference game
(1) – 30th Annual BB&T Classic
(2) – Wright State Tournament, Dayton, Ohio
Home games in bold played at E.A. Diddle Arena (7,326).