EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State women's basketball head coach Suzy Merchant announced the Spartans' 2018-19 schedule on Tuesday.
Highlighting the Spartans' ledger this season is 16 home games, including seven non-conference contests as well as nine Big Ten Conference match-ups.
For the first time since the 2015-16 season, the Big Ten will have an 18-game schedule after two seasons of a 16-game docket. The conference played an 18-game league schedule in both 2015-16 and 2014-15. It is the sixth time in the last 12 years the conference has played an 18-game schedule.
The Spartans will take on eight teams that played in the NCAA Tournament last season, including six Big Ten teams.
For the third-straight season, MSU opens the year with a three-game homestand, beginning with Bowling Green on Tuesday, Nov. 7. On Sunday, Nov. 11, the Spartans will host East Tennessee State. Last year, Michigan State stopped the Mocs in Johnson City. MSU will conclude the trio of home games against Wright State on Sunday, Nov. 18.
The Spartans will spend the Thanksgiving holiday in Mexico at the Cancun Challenge, November 22-23. Michigan State will take on N.C. State on Thursday Nov. 22, before facing Kennesaw State on Friday, Nov. 23. The Spartans will close out the month of November hosting Virginia on Wednesday, Nov. 28 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Michigan State plays five games before the Holiday, starting with the Spartans' first-ever game against Texas Southern at the Breslin Center on Sunday, Dec. 2. MSU remains in the Great Lakes State, traveling to Rochester to take on Oakland on Wednesday, Dec. 5. For the second time in three seasons, MSU and Oregon will battle. This meeting will take place in East Lansing on Sunday, Dec. 9. After finals, the Spartans travel to Hartford on Sunday, Dec. 16. In its final game before the Holiday break, MSU hosts Florida Atlantic in the first meeting between the teams on Thursday, Dec. 20.
The Spartans opens up the Big Ten slate on Sunday, Dec. 30, hosting Iowa. This is the second time in the last three seasons that Michigan State has started the B1G season at the Breslin Center.
Michigan State opens the 2019 portion of its schedule at Northwestern on Thursday, Jan. 3, before concluding the two-game road trip at Indiana on Sunday, Jan. 6. The Spartans return to East Lansing for one game at the Breslin Center against Minnesota on Wednesday, Jan. 9, before taking on defending Big Ten Champion Ohio State in Columbus on Monday, Jan. 14. The Spartans host Maryland on Thursday, Jan. 17 in the only meeting of the regular season, before traveling to Rutgers on Sunday, Jan. 20. The Green and White play host to Illinois on Thursday, Jan. 24 before making the short road trip to Michigan on Sunday, Jan. 27 for the first of two meetings between the in-state rivals. MSU completes January taking on Penn State at home on Thursday, Jan. 31.
Michigan State kicks off the final month of the regular season on Sunday, Feb. 3 facing Purdue. The Spartans then travel to Iowa on Thursday, Feb. 7, before hosting Indiana on Monday, Feb. 11. MSU plays back-to-back road games against Wisconsin on Thursday, Feb. 14 and Nebraska on Sunday, Feb. 17. The Spartans wrap up their regular-season home schedule by hosting Ohio State (Feb. 21) and Michigan on Senior Night (Feb. 24). MSU's regular-season finale is on Sunday, March 3 at Minnesota.
The 2019 Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament will be held in Indianapolis for the 22nd time, as the event remains at Bankers Life Fieldhouse through 2022. All 14 conference schools will participate in the tournament, which is held Wednesday, March 6 - Sunday, March 10.
The Big Ten will announce game times at a later date, following the selection of TV games.
The Spartans finished the 2017-18 season with a 19-14 record, advancing to the Sweet 16 of the WNIT. Michigan State will return four of its top scorers next season led by All-Big Ten honorees Shay Colley, McCutcheon and Jenna Allen. Colley was the Spartans' leading scorer with 12.4 points per game.
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