CORVALLIS, Ore. – Three matchups with 2014 NCAA Sweet Sixteen participants, including true road games at North Carolina and Tennessee, highlight the 2014-15 Oregon State women’s basketball non-conference schedule, when dates and opponents were announced Wednesday.
OSU’s full schedule, including its Pac-12 slate, game times and television selections will be released at a later date.
Of the Beavers’ 11 non-conference opponents, four made the NCAA Tournament in 2014 (North Carolina, Tennessee, BYU, Idaho) and one made the WNIT (Butler). The 11 combined to post an overall winning percentage of .576 and a conference winning percentage of .557 in 2013-14, while three finished in the top 25 of the final USA Today Coaches’ poll.
“This non-conference schedule will prepare us well for the rigors of the Pac-12 and includes both quality opponents and difficult road tests,” Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck said. “Our team is working hard this summer to build upon its success from a year ago and is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.”
Oregon State’s challenging non-conference calendar features the Beavers’ first-ever visits to Chapel Hill, N.C. and Knoxville, Tenn. OSU’s tilt with the Tar Heels, who made it to last season’s Elite Eight and finished the year ranked seventh in the nation, is set for Tuesday, Dec. 16 and will also be the program’s first trip to the state of North Carolina. OSU has split its two previous meetings with UNC, dropping an 82-78 decision to the No. 2 Tar Heels in the Bahamas on Nov. 29, 2008. The Beavers defeated North Carolina to win the WNIT Championship in Amarillo, Texas on March 22, 1980 (71-62).
The game against North Carolina will provide Oregon State with an ACC opponent for just the seventh time in program history. The Beavers are 4-2 all-time in games against ACC foes, splitting last year against Clemson and No. 2 Notre Dame. Prior to 2013-14, OSU’s 2008 game against UNC had been its only one against an opponent from the ACC over the previous 17 seasons.
The Beavers’ trip to Tennessee to take on the Lady Vols rounds out their non-conference schedule on Sunday, Dec. 28. OSU is 0-2 against Tennessee, with both previous matchups coming in the state of Oregon. The two schools last met on Dec. 16, 1987, when the No. 3 ranked Lady Vols came away from Gill Coliseum with a 91-56 victory. Tennessee, ranked 14th at the time, also defeated the Beavers at the Giusti Tournament in Portland, 73-62, on Dec. 18, 1981. Oregon State’s current series with Tennessee is a home-and-home and the Lady Vols will make a return trip to Gill in 2015-16.
Tennessee advanced it to the Sweet Sixteen this past March and was ranked No. 8 in the final USA Today Coaches’ poll. The late December game will just Oregon State’s second trip to the state of Tennessee. The Beavers played at No. 3 Vanderbilt in the Preseason WNIT on Nov. 11, 2001 (L, 81-55).
OSU is 5-12 all-time against SEC opponents (6-14 when including Missouri and Texas A&M, but both meetings with those schools came before they joined the conference). Oregon State’s last win against an SEC foe came over Arkansas, 69-56, on Nov. 28, 2008 at the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas.
In their quest to make back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, the Beavers open their season with a pair of weekend home games against Portland (Friday, Nov. 14) and Utah State (Sunday, Nov. 16). Last season, Oregon State played the Pilots for the first time since 2002-03 and came away with a 79-73 victory behind Jamie Weisner’s 22 second-half points at the Chiles Center. OSU is 17-4 all-time against Portland and sports a 1-1 record versus Utah State. The Beavers won 101-77 on Nov. 29, 1980 and the Aggies came out on top, 74-73, on Dec. 13, 1985 in Boise, Idaho.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, the Beavers will be on the North Shore of Oahu, in Laie, for the Tom Westin Invitational on the campus of BYU-Hawaii. OSU will play Butler on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 27 and match up against BYU on Saturday, Nov. 29.
It will be the program’s seventh trip to The Aloha State and second under Scott Rueck. In his first season at the helm of his alma mater in 2010-11, OSU went 2-1 at the Rainbow Wahine Classic in Honolulu featuring wins over Eastern Michigan (59-44) and Cal State Northridge (49-32). The Beavers have never faced off against Butler and are 5-4 all-time against BYU. Oregon State has not played the Cougars, who went 28-7 in 2013-14, made the NCAA Sweet Sixteen and finished 18th in the final USA Today Coaches’ poll, since 2000-01.
The team’s final non-conference home games come at the beginning of December, when it hosts Idaho (Thursday, Dec. 4) and Sacramento State (Saturday, Dec. 6). OSU is 1-2 in three previous meetings with the Vandals, but the two schools haven’t faced off since 1999-2000. Idaho was 25-8 overall last season and earned an automatic NCAA berth, winning both the WAC regular season (15-1) and conference titles.
The Beavers are 5-1 all-time against the Hornets and coming off a 102-80 win last Nov. 15 in front of a non-conference record home crowd of 4,139. Oregon State’s point total against Sacramento State was the sixth-most in program history and was the first time in triple digits for OSU since putting up exactly 100 against the same Hornets on Nov. 16, 2008.
Sandwiched in between the aforementioned dates with North Carolina and Tennessee is a trip to The Big Easy for the New Orleans Shootout on Dec. 19 and 20. In what is the program’s second-ever visit to the city, Oregon State will take on Southern Illinois on Friday and Nevada on Saturday in the new Convocation Center at Xavier University in historic downtown New Orleans. The Beavers won their first meeting with the Salukis in 1982-83 (65-63), but lost the second in 1989-90 (63-54). OSU is 3-0 all-time against Nevada with the last encounter coming on Dec. 14, 1996. Oregon State’s only other game in New Orleans came at Tulane on Nov. 25, 2003 (L, 73-58).
OSU will also play a home exhibition against Western Oregon on Sunday, Nov. 9.
Oregon State, which finished the season ranked 25th in the nation, is coming off a record-setting season in 2013-14. The Beavers went 24-11 overall, 13-5 in the Pac-12, won their first NCAA Tournament game since 1995 and returns 95 percent of their scoring and 96 percent of their rebounds this fall.
Seat deposits for new 2014-15 Oregon State women's basketball season tickets are currently being accepted. Deposits are $25 and provide season ticket holders with the best seat locations, savings over single game prices and priority to postseason tickets. Current season ticket holders will receive their renewals during the summer. To put down your deposit, visit the following link.