Lady Hornet hoopsters reveal upcoming schedule

MONTGOMERY, Ala. ( – The back-to-back defending SWAC Champions will be facing a few new opponents this season North Carolina, Southern Miss. and Ohio State some familiar foes such as Georgia Tech, Mobile, Samford, Troy and Mississippi State and a tough 18-game SWAC Conference slate combine to make up a challenging 28 game schedule facing the Alabama State women’s basketball team in 2016-17.

The 19th season head coach Freda Freeman-Jackson announced the schedule this week.

“Our preseason is always a tough schedule and this year it may just be a little tougher for us,” said Freeman-Jackson.  “It will be very competitive and 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 2016-17 Lady Hornets will host 11 games in the Dunn-Oliver Acadome, to include an exhibition game with Faulkner as ASU gets the campaign underway on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m.

The regular season will kick off on Friday, Nov. 11, when the Lady Hornets take their first road trip to Chapel Hill, North Carolina to face the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.   Also on tap in the first few weeks of November Alabama State will stay on the road and travel to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech on Sunday, Nov. 13 and then continue up the coast to Savannah, Ga. and face MEAC School Savannah State on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

State will then travel down to the gulf of Mississippi to take on for the second time in the history of the program Southern Miss. on Thursday, Nov. 17 in Hattiesburg, Miss.

The Lady Hornets will return to its home court to face Mobile in a 3 p.m. tip on Saturday, Nov. 19.  The month of November will conclude with a mid-week trip to Birmingham, Ala. to compete against Samford on Wednesday, Nov. 30.

December will have some slightly larger challenges when State heads to Troy on the 4th at 3 p.m. as the Trojans are the defending champs of the Sun Belt Conference that drew a bid with Oregon State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.  After earning a #3 seed the Ohio State Buckeyes made it to the “Sweet 16” before falling to #7 Tennessee.  The Lady Hornets will travel to the great state of Ohio and play against the Buckeyes on Dec. 16 at a time to be determined.

Not only did the Ohio State make it to the “Sweet 16”  ASU’s next opponent on the schedule Mississippi State also made an appearance as the number 14 seed Bulldogs fell to #1 UConn.  Mississippi State will face the Lady Hornets in Starkville, Miss. on Dec. 20 for a 5 p.m. tip.  State will end the year and non-conference schedule when they travel to the boot (Baton Rouge) to face the Lady Tigers of LSU on Wednesday, Dec. 28.

“The first 10 games of the season provide a tremendous level of competition before the conference schedule begins,” Freeman-Jackson said.  “All these teams have great traditions and as we play them this will show us the type of team that we are.  I am excited about competing against these teams and ready to take the challenge.”

The list of non-conference games continues some long-standing rivalries for the Lady Hornets.

“Some of these schools are familiar non-conference opponents, teams we have played often over the years,” Freeman-Jackson said.  “We want to continue to play these teams and our fans are interested in seeing them because of their geographic proximity.”

Playing that wide range of teams is something the Freeman-Jackson thinks will help her team prepare for SWAC conference play.

“Playing teams from so many different conferences gives us a lot of different looks,” she stated.  “If we can score and defend against those teams that we’re not as familiar with, then we should be able to be even more successful against SWAC opponents teams that we are familiar with.”

The SWAC Slate will begin Jan. 2 when Grambling State visits the Dunn-Oliver Acadome.  ASU will then host Jackson State on Jan. 4 before they hit the ground running again with three consecutive road games against UAPB on Jan. 7 in Pine Bluff, Ark. and then travel over to Itta Bena, Miss to face Miss. Valley on Jan. 9.  The Lady Hornets will take a trip up I-65 to as they take on intra-state rival Alabama A&M on Jan. 14.

The league schedule continues when Alabama State returns home for contest against Alcorn State on Jan. 21 and Southern U. on Jan. 23.  Following a road swing to Texas (Texas Southern,Jan 28. And Prairie View, Jan 30). ASU then returns home to start the second half of conference play as they host three SWAC contest against UAPB (Feb. 4), Miss. Valley (Feb. 6) and AAMU (Feb. 11).

The Lady Hornets will hit the road once again this time facing Alcorn on their home court on Feb. 18 and then traveling back to Baton Rouge for the second time, but this time taking on conference rival Southern on Feb. 20.

ASU will close out its home stretch against Texas Southern (Feb. 25) and Prairie View (Feb. 27).  The SWAC regular season ends the same way it began, with State meeting Grambling in Ruston, La. on March 2 and closing out with a game against Jackson State in Jackson, Miss on March 4.

The SWAC conference tournament begins March 7 with the first-round games at campus sites, and then teams will head to Houston for the finals March 10-11.