Women's basketball season preview and schedule
Sept. 14, 2000
KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan University women's basketball team will face a tough road in its quest to win a Mid-American Conference championship.
The MAC released its 2000-01 women's basketball schedule Monday (Sept. 11), giving WMU the chance to see who it will face during the upcoming league season. [Season Schedule]
"The schedule is a marked improvement over what we had a year ago," Bronco head coach Ron Stewart said. "We know now that we play primarily on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Hopefully the schedule will give us an opportunity to live up to our billing and potential."
After playing exhibition games Nov. 2 and 7, the Broncos begin regular-season play Nov. 22 at Detroit. WMU hosts Kansas State Dec. 5 in its home opener and welcomes Ball State to University Arena Jan. 10, 2001, in the MAC season opener.
Western Michigan's non-conference schedule will provide it with some challenging competition in preparation for its conference docket. WMU battles Michigan Dec. 3 at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids and visits Notre Dame Dec. 18 in South Bend. Both Michigan and the Fighting Irish reached the NCAA Tournament last season. Western Michigan will also play at Wake Forest (Nov. 25), at Tulsa (Nov. 29), and at Butler (Jan. 2) during the non-conference portion of its 2000-01 schedule.
The Broncos will also take part in two tournaments during the regular season. WMU plays in the University of Washington's Seattle Times Classic Dec. 21-22, opening tournament play versus James Madison. The Broncos will face either Loyola Marymount or host Washington in the second round. Western Michigan is also scheduled to play in the University of Miami's (Fla.) Gatorade Holiday Classic Dec. 28-29 along with New Hampshire, George Mason, and the host Hurricanes.
Stewart team will play a total of 16 MAC games in the upcoming season, 10 versus fellow MAC West Division foes and six against teams from the East Division. In addition to Ball State visiting Kalamazoo, the Broncos will also host West Division opponents Central Michigan (Feb. 3), Toledo (Feb. 10), Northern Illinois (Feb. 24), and Eastern Michigan (Feb. 28). Six of the Broncos' final seven games are against West Division foes. WMU hosts rival EMU in the regular-season finale, a game that could have a big impact on the MAC West Division title and the leagues postseason.
"It's important that we're healthy and that we take care of responsibility the last two weeks," Stewart said. "A lot could change in terms of the standings in the West. Those are critical last two weeks."
Western Michigan will host East Division members Akron (Jan. 20), Bowling Green (Jan. 31), and Miami (Feb. 17). WMU visits defending MAC champion Kent State Jan. 24 and also plays at Marshall (Feb. 13) and at Buffalo (Feb. 7).
The Broncos will be vying for their second consecutive MAC West Division championship during the 2000-01 season. Last season Western Michigan was 14-2 in league play, 18-12 overall. WMU fell 64-55 to Toledo in the MAC Tournament Semifinals in Cleveland. The Broncos lost 69-64 to DePaul in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament in Kalamazoo.
Western Michigan returns 2000 MAC Rookie of the Year and All-MAC First Team pick Kristin Koetsier as well as guards Brooke Gallert, Sarah Hurrle, and Lisa Bruwer. Junior Karen Deurloo, a 6-0 forward, also returns. Stewart also added a pair of rookies - 6-2 forward Lori Crisman and 5-9 guard Emily Samuelson - to the mix.
For more information, visit the Broncos on the Web <www.wmubroncos.com>.
Media contact: Geoff Brown; 616 387-4138; firstname.lastname@example.org