TULSA, Okla. - Head Coach Misti Cussen is proud to release the 2013-14 Oral Roberts University women’s basketball schedule, which begins on November 8, 2013. The Golden Eagles will play 29 regular season contests over the four-month campaign, culminating with the Southland Conference Tournament from March 12-15 in Katy, Texas.
ORU’s 2012-13 non-conference schedule was ranked as the 13th-toughest in the nation by one publication, and the 2013-14 slate promises to be just as challenging. The Golden Eagles will face six power conference opponents, all on the road, and will square off with 11 teams that reached postseason play last year. Included in this list of challengers are 2013 NCAA Tournament participants Kansas, Nebraska, Navy and Tulsa.
“I’m excited about our upcoming schedule, which should once again rank as one of the toughest in the nation,” said Cussen. “I know our team is looking forward to the non-conference part of the schedule, and I expect those games will get us prepared for Southland Conference play.”
ORU opens the season on Friday, November 8, when they welcome Mid-America Christian University to the Mabee Center. Tipoff is at Noon CT for the annual TTCU Best Field Trip Ever event.
Back-to-back road trips will follow, as the Golden Eagles travel to Kansas on Sunday, November 10 before facing Arkansas on Wednesday, Nov. 13. The Razorbacks, who took down the Golden Eagles last season at the Mabee Center, are one of five 2013 Women’s NIT participants on ORU’s schedule.
The Golden Eagles return home on Monday, November 18 to renew their rivalry with Missouri State, and ORU will host defending Patriot League champion Navy on Friday, November 22. Both games will tip at 7 pm CT.
ORU will bus across town for the annual PSO Mayors Cup battle with the University of Tulsa on Tuesday, November 26. The Golden Eagles knocked off TU last season, 64-53, to snap a two-game skid in the rivalry clash.
Cussen’s crew plays their final home game of the non-conference schedule on Saturday, November 30 when they host 2012 WNIT participant UALR. Tipoff for the Thanksgiving weekend matchup is booked for 3 pm CT.
The Golden Eagles will close 2013 with one of the most difficult road stretches in program history. ORU will face Missouri on Wednesday, December 4, Northwestern on Monday, December 16, Marquette on Wednesday, December 18 and Nebraska on Sunday, December 29. The grueling four-game series should have ORU ready for Southland Conference play, which commences on Thursday, January 2.
ORU hosts SLC newcomer Houston Baptist to start league play, and two days later, on January 4, the Golden Eagles host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The three-game home stand concludes against Central Arkansas on January 11. Cussen’s team swept both the Islanders and the Sugar Bears last season.
ORU’s first SLC road trip starts on Thursday, January 16 against Abilene Christian and concludes two days later in San Antonio against Incarnate Word. Though neither of the two SLC newcomers are full Division I members in 2013-14, the two games will count toward the conference regular season standings.
A two-game home stretch begins on Thursday, January 23 against Stephen F. Austin and wraps up two days later against Northwestern State. ORU swept the Ladyjacks and split with the Lady Demons in 2012-13, beating both clubs at the Mabee Center.
ORU wraps up January on the 30th of the month in Thibodaux, La., against Nicholls State. Two days later, the Golden Eagles head to Lake Charles, La., for a date against 2013 WBI finalist McNeese State. ORU lost both regular season meetings with the Cowgirls last season but beat McNeese when it counted, eliminating them from the Southland Conference Tournament.
Another home stand starts on Thursday, February 6 against another Southland debutante, New Orleans. On Saturday, February 8, ORU hosts Southeastern Louisiana after sweeping the Lady Lions last season.
Three of ORU’s five SLC return trips make up the longest conference road trip of the season, beginning on Thursday, February 13 at Houston Baptist. Two days later, the Golden Eagles head south for a second meeting with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, and on Saturday, February 22 ORU will trek to Conway, Ark., for a second meeting with Central Arkansas.
ORU’s final home stand of the year begins on Thursday, Feb. 27 against 2013 WBI participant Lamar, and the home schedule concludes on Sunday, March 2 against Sam Houston State. ORU swept the Lady Cardinals last season, including a 26-point win at the Mabee Center, and they took two of three from the Bearkats, including a 50-point drubbing at home and a victory in the Southland Championship Game.
The March 2 meeting with Sam Houston will be the final home games in the collegiate careers of Tulsa native Christian Key and fellow senior Sarah Shelton.
For the third consecutive season, ORU’s final regular season games will be on the road. The Golden Eagles face off with Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, Texas on Thursday, March 6. They finish the regular season on Saturday, March 8 in Natchitoches, La., against Northwestern State.
ORU will defend their 2013 SLC Championship at the 2014 Southland Conference Tournament, to be held March 12-15 at the Merrell Center in Katy, Texas. Once again, the top eight teams from the regular season standings will qualify for Merrell Madness, with the 3rd and 4th place teams getting a bye to the quarterfinals. The 1st and 2nd place finishers will receive a double-bye to the semifinal round.
All Thursday Southland Conference games at the Mabee Center will tip off at 5 pm CT. All Saturday conference contests will start at 3 pm CT with the exception of February 8 against Southeastern Louisiana, a 4 pm CT start on Homecoming weekend, and March 2 against Sam Houston, which tips at 1 pm CT.
Oral Roberts went 18-13 last season and won the Southland Conference regular season and tournament titles. The Golden Eagles advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in program history, falling to Tennessee in the opening round.