The return of the UTEP Thanksgiving Classic and a 16-game Conference USA slate, match-ups against both New Mexico and NM State and non-conference contests against power league members Arkansas, East Carolina and Georgetown highlight the 2017-18 UTEP women’s basketball schedule as announced Wednesday by head coach Kevin Baker.
The schedule also features games against three teams that played in the 2017 NCAA Tournament (NM State, Texas Southern and WKU) and four from the 2017 Postseason WNIT (Georgetown, LA Tech, Middle Tennessee and Southern Miss)
“We look forward to our pre-season schedule,” Baker said. “We will begin our season with six straight home contests. We are very excited about the opportunity to play in front of our great fan-base.”
The Miners will tune up for the campaign with a pair of exhibition games, facing Sul Ross (Oct. 29) and St. Mary’s (Nov. 4) before tipping off Baker’s first season at the helm against CSU Bakersfield (Nov. 11).
It will be the first of six straight in El Paso to start the year, equaling the second-longest homestand at the onset of a season in program history.
Also on the docket are Texas A&M Corpus Christi (Nov. 18), Arkansas (Nov. 24), Texas Southern (Nov. 25), New Mexico (Nov. 30), and Houston Baptist (Dec. 2).
The contests against Arkansas and TSU will come as part of the Sixth-Annual UTEP Thanksgiving Classic. NM State will help round out the field by facing both Texas Southern and Arkansas.
“We are really excited about our Thanksgiving Classic,” Baker said. “We will play two upper level teams in Arkansas and Texas Southern. Soon after, we will hit the road to Myrtle Beach to play East Carolina and then to New Orleans to participate in the Tulane Classic. We will then tune up for conference play by heading out to Los Angeles to play Cal State Fullerton and UC-Riverside. We hope that this competitive schedule helps our team improve daily and prepares us for tough conference play.”
Baker’s charges then will wrap up non-conference action with seven straight road or neutral-site games. Up first is a trip to Arkansas State (Dec. 5) before coming back to the Borderland for the First Light Federal Credit Union Battle of I-10 at NM State (Dec. 10).
UTEP will then head to the east coast for a tilt against former C-USA foe and current American member East Carolina (Dec. 17) in Myrtle Beach. The Orange and Blue will then take place in the Tulane Classic where they will play two games in as many days, squaring off with Samford (Dec. 21) and Georgetown (Dec. 22).
Following a holiday break, UTEP wraps up non-conference play in Los Angeles with contests vs. CSU Fullerton (Dec. 29) and CSU Riverside (Dec. 30).
“We are very excited about the new Conference USA schedule,” Baker said. “Our conference has worked very hard to put together a new format which will undoubtedly enhance our chances to put several teams in the mix to obtain a spot in the NCAA Tournament. In any event, this year’s conference should be extremely competitive and should make for some great basketball. Our players and coaching staff are eager to get this season underway and compete in this great conference.”
C-USA play commences on the road at FIU (Jan. 5) and at FAU (Jan. 7). Other league road contests are at Rice (Jan. 26), at North Texas (Jan. 28), at UTSA (Feb. 4), at Marshall (Feb. 15), at Old Dominion (Feb. 17) and at Southern Miss (Feb. 25).
The Miners’ league home opener comes against Charlotte (Jan. 11). The other C-USA teams to venture to the Don Haskins Center are Middle Tennessee (Jan. 13), Florida Atlantic (Jan. 18), UAB (Feb. 2), LA Tech (Feb. 10), UTSA (Feb. 23), FIU (March 1) and WKU (March 3).
2017-18 UTEP Women’s Basketball Schedule
Date Day Opponent Location Time
October 29 Sunday Sul Ross& Don Haskins Center 1 p.m.
November 4 Saturday St. Mary’s& Don Haskins Center 1 p.m.
November 11 Saturday CSU Bakersfield Don Haskins Center 1 p.m.
November 18 Saturday Texas A&M Corpus Christi Don Haskins Center 7 p.m.
UTEP Thanksgiving Classic
November 24 Friday NM State vs. Texas Southern Don Haskins Center 12 p.m.
Arkansas at UTEP Don Haskins Center 2:30 p.m.
November 25 Saturday NM State vs. Arkansas Don Haskins Center 12 p.m.
Texas Southern at UTEP Don Haskins Center 2:30 p.m.
November 30 Thursday New Mexico Don Haskins Center 5:30 p.m.
December 2 Saturday Houston Baptist Don Haskins Center 1 p.m.
December 5 Tuesday at Arkansas State Jonesboro, Ark TBA
December 10 Saturday at NM State Las Cruces, N.M. TBA
December 17 Sunday vs. East Carolina Myrtle Beach, S.C. 11:30 a.m.
December 21 Thursday vs. Samford New Orleans/Tulane Univ. TBA
December 22 Friday vs. Georgetown New Orleans/Tulane Univ. TBA
December 29 Friday vs. CSU Fullerton Los Angeles, Calif. TBA
December 30 Saturday vs. CSU Riverside Los Angeles, Calif. TBA
January 5 Friday at FIU* Miami, Fla. TBA
January 7 Sunday at Florida Atlantic* Boca Raton, Fla. TBA
January 11 Thursday Charlotte* Don Haskins Center 1 p.m.
January 13 Saturday Middle Tennessee* Don Haskins Center 1 p.m.
January 18 Thursday Florida Atlantic Don Haskins Center 7 p.m.
January 26 Friday at Rice* Houston, Texas TBA
January 28 Sunday at North Texas* Denton, Texas TBA
February 2 Friday UAB* Don Haskins Center 7 p.m.
February 4 Sunday UTSA* San Antonio, Texas TBA
February 10 Saturday LA Tech* Don Haskins Center 1 p.m.
February 15 Thursday Marshall* Huntington, W. Va. TBA
February 17 Saturday Old Dominion* Norfolk, Va. TBA
February 23 Friday UTSA* Don Haskins Center 7 p.m.
February 25 Sunday Southern Miss* Hattiesburg, Miss. TBA
March 1 Thursday FIU* Don Haskins Center 7 p.m.
March 3 Saturday WKU* Don Haskins Center 1 p.m.
Bold denotes home game
& Exhibition Game
* Conference USA Game
All Times Mountain