NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The defending Ohio Valley Conference Champion Tennessee State women’s basketball team will face another challenging slate during the 2015-16 season a year after the Lady Tigers captured their first OVC Championship since 1995.
The Lady Tigers will battle two Big 10 (Indiana and Illinois) and two Southeastern Conference (Kentucky and Mississippi State) opponents in 2015-16. TSU will also square off with teams from the Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Horizon League and SWAC in non-conference action.
The 27-game slate features 12 home games at the Gentry Center, including the second annual Teresa Phillips Thanksgiving Classic.
The Lady Tigers open the year in the Preseason WNIT at Indiana on Nov. 13. A win over the Hoosiers would advance TSU to the Second Round on Nov. 15, 16 or 17, while a loss would send the Lady Tigers into the consolation bracket.
TSU will continue the early part of the season at Illinois on Nov. 24 in the first-ever meeting between the two sides.
The second-annual Teresa Phillips Classic will mark the beginning of the home schedule with the Lady Tigers hosting Texas Southern on Nov. 28 before another home game the following day against North Alabama. Texas Southern posted a 19-10 overall record last year and qualified for the postseason WNIT.
Playing their third home game in a four-day span, the Lady Tigers are set to host Lane College at the Gentry Center on Dec. 1.
The December slate continues with a tough road test at SEC opponent Mississippi State on Dec. 6 in Starkville, Miss. Winners of 27 games a year ago, the Bulldogs are coming off a trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
TSU will then return home to square off with Lipscomb on Dec. 13. The Lady Tigers have gone 19-4 in the all-time series with their cross-town rivals, including a 73-55 victory over the Lady Bisons last season.
A season-long six game road swing awaits TSU beginning with two games in Missoula, Mont. as part of the Lady Griz Classic. The Lady Tigers are scheduled to take on Utah State on Dec. 19 with a Dec. 20 matchup versus either Florida Atlantic or the host Montana.
A rematch with Kentucky is next on the schedule for the Lady Tigers with a Dec. 28 showdown in Lexington, Ky. TSU fell to the Wildcats by 10 in last year’s regular season meeting before Kentucky again defeated the Lady Tigers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Non-conference action concludes with a Dec. 30 road test at Youngstown State, a team that qualified for last season’s WNIT.
The defending OVC Champions will begin their title defense on the road with games at Southeast Missouri (Jan. 2) and Eastern Illinois (Jan. 6).
The Lady Tigers return to Nashville for three home tilts against SIU Edwardsville (Jan. 9), Murray State (Jan. 14) and Austin Peay (Jan. 16). TSU defeated SIU Edwardsville in the OVC Semifinals a year ago.
The rest of the January slate is on the road beginning with a Jan. 20 game at Tennessee Tech and a Jan. 23 meeting with Nashville rival Belmont. The Lady Tigers will then take on OVC runner-up UT Martin on Jan. 27 before concluding the stretch at Jacksonville State on Jan. 30.
On Feb. 3, TSU will host Eastern Kentucky at 11 a.m. as part of Kid’s Day where students from local schools will be in attendance for the Wednesday morning game. The Lady Tigers will look to continue their strong play against Morehead State in a home game on Feb. 6. TSU defeated Morehead State three times a year ago, including once in the OVC Tournament.
After taking on Tennessee Tech at home on Feb. 10, TSU will alternate road and home games the rest of the regular season. A Feb. 13 contest at Eastern Kentucky will be followed by a home test versus Jacksonville State on Feb. 20. Rounding out the schedule is a road game at Morehead State (Feb. 24) and a home game against Belmont (Feb. 27).
The OVC Tournament will again be held at the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville in early March.