Spartan Womenâ€™s Basketball Announces 2009-10 Schedule
MSU to face 15 schools who appeared in the postseason last season, including a possible 10 NCAA qualifiers.
Â EAST LANSING, Mich. â€“ The Michigan State womenâ€™s basketball program announced its 2009-10 schedule today.Â The Spartans, coming off an appearance in the 2009 NCAA Sweet Sixteen, will square off with 15 schools who qualified for postseason play last season, including a possible 10 who were in the NCAA Tournament.Â In addition, at least nine of the Spartansâ€™ Big Ten games will be aired on national television, including one on CBS, two on ESPN2 and six on the Big Ten Network.Â The times and television arrangements for the non-conference games will be announced at a later date.
â€œThe 2009-10 season should be an exciting year for Michigan State womenâ€™s basketball,â€ said Michigan State head coach Suzy Merchant.Â â€œOur non-conference schedule will provide many difficult challenges as we prepare for the Big Ten Conference season.
â€œFacing 15 schools that appeared in last yearâ€™s postseason, including national powers North Carolina and Notre Dame, will be a great test for us throughout the season.Â We are thrilled to bring this quality of womenâ€™s college basketball to our Spartan fans.â€
The Spartans return 11 of 12 letterwinners from last season, including their top six scorers and top eight rebounders, from a team that won 22 games, finished second in the Big Ten and reached its third Sweet Sixteen.
The 2009-10 season kicks off with exhibition games at the Breslin Center against Wayne State (Thurs., Nov. 5) and Grand Valley StateÂ (Sun., Nov. 8).Â The Spartans then hit the road for a two-game swing to begin the regular season, squaring off at Dayton , who made the WNIT for the second-straight season and finished the season with a 21-14 mark, on Friday, Nov. 13 and at Detroit on Sunday, Nov. 15.Â
The home regular season opener is set for Thursday, Nov. 19 against Notre Dame.Â The Fighting Irish, who qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the 14th straight year and return all 12 letterwinners from last season, return to the Breslin Center for the first time since the 2003-04 season.
Michigan State follows with a neutral site contest against Western Michigan on Sunday, Nov. 22 at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. A homecoming game for senior Allyssa DeHaan, the Spartans play in Grand Rapids for the first time since facing Marquette on Dec. 2, 2001.Â
â€œI canâ€™t think of a better way to spend my hometown day than playing in my hometown; what an honor,â€ said DeHaan.Â â€œFor the past three years fans from Grand Rapids have made the trek to East Lansing to watch us play, now Iâ€™m coming home to them.â€