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UK, UC Highlight Norse Women's Basketball Nonconference Schedule

The Northern Kentucky University women’s basketball team released its 2015-16 nonconference schedule on Tuesday. The schedule will feature eight home games, three games against teams that advanced to postseason competition in 2015 and two more against opponents that reached conference championship finals.

“We are very excited about the non-conference schedule that we have put together,” said head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. “It’s a schedule that is challenging and one that our fans will enjoy!  To be able to host 17 home games is outstanding and the fact that we are bringing a Big East and an SEC powerhouse to BB&T Arena is great for everyone involved.

“The game plan is to put together a nonconference schedule that will prepare us for our first season in the Horizon League, which is very well respected and has been well represented in postseason play.  With that in mind, we like the challenges that we will face early on in our season.”

The season opens on Friday, Nov. 13, at Miami (Ohio) after the teams took a year off in their rivalry series last year. The Redhawks took both ends of the home-and-home series across the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.

The Norse open the home portion of the schedule two days later against Indiana State. NKU will put its five-game winning streak against the Sycamores on the line when they face off for the first time since the 1982-83 season. On Wednesday, Nov. 18, NKU heads across the Ohio River to take on Cincinnati for the fourth-consecutive year. NKU has won the last two meetings between the teams, both taking place at BB&T Arena.

Thanksgiving week will see back-to-back home games against Big East foe Marquette (Nov. 21) and Tennessee Tech (Nov. 27). NKU took a 77-68 victory over Marquette in the first meeting between the teams last season on the strength of a career-high 29-point performance from Christine Roush. Another long dormant series, NKU and Tennessee Tech’s only previous meeting came in 1982, a 69-60 victory for the Norse in Regents Hall.

NKU’s final nonconference road trip of the season will take the Norse to Pittsburgh to meet Robert Morris on Nov. 29. The Colonials finished last season with a 17-15 record and reached the Northeast Conference championship game. In 2013, Kayla Thacker poured in 20 points to push the Norse to a 71-62 victory over Robert Morris.

On Dec. 2, Northern Kentucky opens a five-game nonconference home stretch by welcoming Kentucky to Highland Heights for the first time since 1981. Kentucky was a semifinalist in last year’s SEC Championship and earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and took an 82-64 victory over the Norse in Memorial Coliseum on Dec. 3.

Coach Plitzuweit is excited for the challenge, noting that “Kentucky women’s basketball has developed into an SEC and a national powerhouse and to be able to face that level of competition for the second year in a row will definitely pay dividends for our program.”

Three days later, the Norse welcome in IPFW in hopes of avenging a 65-59 loss to the Mastadons last year.

Following final exams, NKU brings in West Virginia State (Dec. 13) and Indiana University Kokomo (Dec. 16) before closing out the nonconference schedule on Dec. 19 against Women’s NIT participant Akron. The Zips finished 21-14 last season, including a win over NKU, and advanced to the Mid-American Conference championship game. NKU has not hosted Akron since the 1982-83 season.

NKU’s schedule will include an 18-game Horizon League slate that will be released at a later date.

The Norse look to continue the ascent they have set since moving to Division I. Last season, NKU finished 19-14 and advanced to the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship game after a thrilling 53-52 victory over Stetson in the semifinals. NKU was selected to the Women’s Basketball Invitational for the third-consecutive year, falling to Marshall in the opening round.

NORTHERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY

2015-16 WOMEN’S BASKETBALL NONCONFERENCE SCHEDULE

Nov. 13 at Miami (Ohio)

Nov. 15 INDIANA STATE

Nov. 18 at Cincinnati

Nov. 21 MARQUETTE

Nov. 27 TENNESSEE TECH

Nov. 29 at Robert Morris

Dec. 2    KENTUCKY

Dec. 5    IPFW

Dec. 13 WEST VIRGINIA STATE

Dec. 16 IU-KOKOMO

Dec. 19 AKRON

From NKU Athletics/Photo via NKU Athletics