Northern Colorado head women's basketball coach Jaime White announced the release of the 2011-12 schedule today.
The non-conference schedule is highlighted by a stretch where the Bears play three out of four games inside the friendly confines of Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion. Included in that stretch are home games against instate-rivals Denver and Colorado State on Nov. 30 and Dec. 2, respectively.
"I think we have a nice stretch of home games early on," White said. "The two games against our instate-rivals will be fun for everyone."
Northern Colorado opens up the season with three straight on the road, including the season-opener Nov. 12 against Bradley.
Other non-conference road games of interest are battles at South Dakota and New Mexico on Dec. 10 and 15, respectively.
"It should be fun to rematch with both New Mexico and South Dakota," White said. "We faced New Mexico in the Preseason NIT a few years ago, while we fell to South Dakota in overtime at home last year."
The defending-co-Big Sky champions kick off their conference schedule New Year's Eve with a home game against Northern Arizona. Perhaps the highlight of the Bears' home Big Sky schedule is Senior Night, when Portland State, the other team that captured a share of the Big Sky title, comes to Greeley for a game that could hold huge postseason implications.
"We think this is a competitive schedule," White said. "But one that, with the experience we have coming back, we should be successful with."
The Bears, led by White, finished last season with a 17-14 record. The team bloomed late and finished with a 12-4 Big Sky mark. The team returns three starters off that squad, including first-team all-conference selection Lauren Oosdyke and the league's Freshman of the Year, D'shara Strange.
2011-12 schedule | 2010-11 results