The Texas women open their season at home Thursday night against Duquesne. Here’s a look at their season schedule:
Three games, all at home. Duquesne, the season-opening opponent, drew one vote in the Associated Press preseason Top 25 poll as did TCU, Drake and Green Bay. And UT coach Karen Aston will go back to UNT Coliseum when the Longhorns travel to North Texas in the second game of the season; Aston went 15-16 in her one season at North Texas before she was hired at Texas in 2012.
Key game: Duquesne, Nov. 8
The two best non-conference games on the schedule fall in December — and they’re both at the Erwin Center. The biggest is Mississippi State, ranked sixth in the preseason. The Bulldogs have been to the NCAA championship game the past two years, finishing runners-up to South Carolina and Notre Dame. Texas fell to Mississippi State 79-68 two years ago in Starkville. And for history lovers, Tennessee comes to town on Dec. 9. The Lady Vols edged the Longhorns 82-75 last season in Knoxville; Tennessee leads the all-time series 24-15, but Texas had won their previous three meetings before last year.
Key game: Mississippi State, Dec. 2
Bring on Big 12 play. It all starts on Jan. 2 at home against Oklahoma State, which has dropped eight in a row to the Longhorns, including an 84-79 game last year in Austin and a 77-62 game in Stillwater. The Longhorns should have the chance at building some steam early in the conference schedule heading into a more difficult February. Oklahoma comes to town on Jan. 9; Texas has won seven of the last 10 meetings between the old rivals, including a sweep by the Horns last season.
Key game: West Virginia, Jan. 28
The Longhorns get Baylor twice — first at the Erwin Center on Feb. 4, a 6 p.m. Monday night game, and then again in Waco on the 25th, another 6 p.m. start on a Monday night. The Lady Bears beat Texas 93-87 last season in Austin despite a career-high 32 points from Brooke McCarty; Baylor humbled the Horns 81-56 last year in Waco as Bears guard Kristy Wallace went 11 of 16 from the field for 27 points.
Key game: Baylor, Feb. 4
There are only two games before the Big 12 tournament commences in Oklahoma City. The Horns host Iowa State and then finish at TCU. The Iowa State game will be Senior Night for Lashann Higgs, Jatarie White, Olamide Aborowa and Danni Williams.
Key game: Iowa State, March 2