COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - Brand new opponents Louisville, Lipscomb,
Drake and Florida Atlantic, some familiar foes such as Middle
Tennessee and Belmont, a renewal of the rivalry with powerhouse
Georgia, and a tough 18-game Ohio Valley Conference slate combine
to make up a challenging 29-game schedule facing the Tennessee Tech
women's basketball team in 2008-09.
Third-year head coach Amy Brown announced the schedule this week.
"This is going to be a very tough schedule," Brown said. "It will be very competitive. We hope that playing this difficult of a non-conference schedule will make us better for our conference schedule. We're looking forward to it."
The 2008-09 Golden Eagles will host 15 home games in Eblen Center, highlighted by visits from Louisville, Drake, Middle Tennessee, Memphis and Evansville, plus all nine Ohio Valley Conference foes.
Tech gets the campaign underway by hosting Tusculum College in an exhibition game on Monday, Nov. 10.
The regular season kicks off on Saturday, Nov. 15, when Louisville visits. The Cardinals reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last season.
Also on tap in the first few weeks are a tournament at Florida Atlantic in which Brown's team faces the host team and either Texas or Georgia Tech. That's followed by a game at perennial power Georgia.
"The first seven games provide a tremendous level of competition before the conference schedule begins," Brown said. "Louisville was a Sweet 16 team and they're coming to Cookeville, Drake has a great tradition, both Georgia Tech and Texas are at Florida Atlantic so that should be a great tournament, and we return to Georgia for the first time in a few years, and that's always tough place to play. That's a bunch of great teams. Then you add in teams such as Evansville, Southern Illinois, Middle Tennessee, Memphis, Lipscomb and Belmont and it just gets tougher."
The list of non-conference games continues some long-standing rivalries for the Golden Eagles.
"Some of those are familiar non-conference opponents, teams we have played often over the years," Brown said. "We want to continue to play them. Our fans are interested in seeing them because of their geographic proximity."
Playing that wide range of teams is something that Brown thinks will help her team prepare for Ohio Valley Conference play.
"Playing teams from so many different conferences gives us a lot of different looks," she said. "If we can score and defend against those teams that we're not as familiar with, then we should be able to be more successful against the conference teams that we are more familiar with."
The OVC slate begins Dec. 6 when Jacksonville State visits Eblen Center.
That game opens a stretch from early December through mid-January that Golden Eagle fans will enjoy, when Tech hosts eight of the next 11 games including five conference games and familiar non-conference foes Evansville (Dec. 18), Middle Tennessee (Dec. 28) and Memphis (Dec. 30).
The league schedule resumes the first week of January with home games against Southeast Missouri (Jan. 3) and Eastern Illinois (Jan. 5). Following a road swing to Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky, the Golden Eagles return home to host two more OVC contests against UT Martin (Jan. 15) and Murray State (Jan. 17) to close that home stretch.
The OVC regular season ends the same way it begins, with Tech meeting Jacksonville State. Tech visits the Gamecocks on Feb. 28.
The Ohio Valley Conference tournament begins March 3 with first-round games at campus sites, then heads to Nashville for the finals March 6-7.
Season tickets for the 2008-09 campaign are on sale at the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center, or by calling (931) 372-3940. Tickets are also available online at TTUsports.com.