In conjunction with the Big Sky Conference, the Montana State women’s basketball program has announced its schedule for the 2020-21 campaign.
Coming off a season that saw Montana State post a 25-6 overall mark, and dominating the Big Sky with a record-breaking 19-1 league ledger, the Bobcats will play five non-conference games, before starting its 20-game Big Sky slate on Dec. 31 at Southern Utah in pursuit of back-to-back titles.
“I would like to thank all those involved in putting the Big Sky 20-game schedule together,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “A lot of time went into developing this plan with a lot of thought considering student-athlete health and safety and budget, especially with travel.”
The Big Sky’s basketball committee is comprised of Montana State athletic director Leon Costello (chair), Idaho athletic director Terry Gawlik, Northern Arizona athletic director Mike Marlow, Sacramento State senior woman administrator Lois Mattice, and Weber State senior woman administrator Meagan Thunell.
The 2020-21 league docket provides the Big Sky’s 11 member institutions with two contests against every other school – including home-and-home series with two opponents. Big Sky schools will play consecutive games against the same opponent, with the men’s and women’s programs of two competing schools playing each other on the same dates at opposite locations. Both men’s and women’s basketball are scheduled to play conference games on Thursdays and Saturdays, with the first contests slated for Dec. 3 and 5. Montana State will be the lone school not playing the opening weekend in early December.
The season will culminate for all 22 teams with the 2021 Big Sky Basketball Championships at the newly renamed Idaho Central Arena (formerly CenturyLink Arena) on March 8-13 in Boise, Idaho, for a third consecutive year.
The Cat-Griz rivalry series between the women’s programs opens in Bozeman on Thursday, Jan. 28. The two teams return to action in Missoula, Saturday, Jan. 30. MSU and Idaho State will also have a home-and-home series with the first meeting in Pocatello on Thursday, Feb. 18, followed by the return game on Saturday, Feb. 20 in Bozeman.
Montana State opens its non-conference season hosting South Dakota School of Mines on Wednesday, Nov. 25 in Worthington Arena. On Dec. 6, while the Big Sky opens it conference slate, the Bobcats will host former league rival North Dakota. MSU makes its only road trip when it faces BYU on Dec. 10, followed by Utah Valley on Dec. 12. The Cats will close out its non-conference slate when it hosts South Dakota State on Dec. 21.
BYU is ranked among the top 50 programs heading into the 2020-21 season. The Cougars went 18-11 overall and 13-5 in West Coast Conference action last season. SDSU has been a perennial Summit League power earning numerous NCAA appearances. The Jackrabbits went 23-10 overall and 13-3 in conference action last winter. SDSU defeated the Bobcats 60-50 last winter in Brookings.
“(Associate Head Coach) Sunny (Smallwood) did an outstanding job working on getting a very solid non-conference schedule,” Binford said. “As you can imagine, putting a non-conference schedule together under the current COVID guidelines wasn’t an easy accomplishment, so kudos to her for a job well done.”
Montana State Athletics will not be offering season ticket packages during the 2020-21 season. If public attendance is allowed at basketball games this winter, single game tickets will be made available and sold on a weekly basis – depending on permissible capacity – through the mobile ticketing process previously released. More detailed information on the single-game ticket process will be provided as the basketball season draws closer.
2020-21 Montana State Women’s Basketball Schedule
Nov. 25 South Dakota School of Mines
Dec. 6 North Dakota
Dec. 10 at Brigham Young
Dec. 12 at Utah Valley
Dec. 21 South Dakota State
Dec. 31 at Southern Utah*
Jan. 2 at Southern Utah*
Jan. 7 Northern Colorado*
Jan. 9 Northern Colorado*
Jan. 14 at Portland State*
Jan. 16 at Portland State*
Jan. 21 Northern Arizona*
Jan. 23 Northern Arizona*
Jan. 28 Montana*
Jan. 30 at Montana*
Feb. 4 Weber State*
Feb. 6 Weber State*
Feb. 11 at Eastern Washington*
Feb. 13 at Eastern Washington*
Feb. 18 at Idaho State*
Feb. 20 Idaho State*
Feb. 25 Idaho*
Feb. 27 Idaho*
March 3 at Sacramento State*
March 5 at Sacramento State*
*Big Sky Conference game