Auburn announced its 2005-2006 schedule on Wednesday. The Tigers will open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 18 at home against Texas-Pan American at 7 p.m. before hitting the road for four straight games, which include visits to Kent State (Nov. 20) and Buffalo (Nov. 22) as well as a Thanksgiving tournament at Duke, Nov. 26-27.
"I like our schedule," Fortner says. "I like the idea of going to Duke. That is going to be a great test for us. We have some challenging games on the road and there will be a lot of talent coming to Auburn as well. The SEC is just as tough as it always is, but with our complete schedule, we have the potential to do some great things."
The Tigers will begin SEC play Jan. 5 at home against preseason No. 3 LSU. Other home conference matches for the Tigers include Ole Miss on Jan. 15, Alabama on Jan. 26, Mississippi State on Jan. 29, Vanderbilt on Feb. 5, South Carolina on Feb. 16 and Florida on Feb. 19.
The Tigers finished the 2004-2005 season with a 16-13 record, and return starters Alexis Ogubie and 2005 NCAA shot-block champion Marita Payne to the lineup.
However, Fortner must replace three starters from last seasons team, who accounted for 39.3 points and 15.7 rebounds per game. She has brought in six newcomers to fill the void.
Fortner says she is excited about the potential of the class, but knows its lack of experience will make for a tough transition.
"The strength of our team is the freshman class and the weakness of our team is the freshman class," she explains. "Our freshmen are going to get a lot of experience so getting them comfortable and confident as quickly as possible is very important."
The new-look Auburn team will first take the court on Nov. 13 in an exhibition matchup against Tuskegee at 2 p.m. at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum.
2005-2006 Auburn Women's Basketball Schedule
Nov. 13 Sun. EXH. TUSKEGEE INSTITUTE AUBURN 2 p.m.
Nov. 18 Fri. UNIV. TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN AUBURN 7 p.m.
Nov. 20 Sun Kent State Kent, OH 1 p.m.
Nov. 22 Tues. Buffalo Buffalo, NY 6 p.m.
Nov. 26-27 Sat./Sun. Duke Classic Durham, NC
Nov. 26 Sat. George Mason vs. Auburn Noon
Arkansas State vs. Duke 2 p.m.
Nov. 27 Sun. Consolation Game Noon
Championship Game 2 p.m.
Nov. 29 Tues. JACKSONVILLE STATE AUBURN 7 p.m.
Dec. 2 Fri. XAVIER AUBURN 7 p.m.
Dec. 4 Sun. UT-Chattanooga Chattanooga, TN 3 p.m.
Dec. 7 Wed. WESTERN CAROLINA AUBURN 7 p.m.
Dec. 17 Sat. LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE AUBURN 3 p.m.
Dec. 20 Tues. Furman Greenville, SC 6 p.m.
Dec. 28-30 Wed/Fri. San Diego St. Tour. San Diego, CA
Dec. 28 Wed. UC-Davis vs. Auburn 7:30 p.m.
Loyola MD vs. SDSU 9:30 p.m.
Dec. 30 Fri. Consolation Game 7:30 p.m.
Championship Game 9:30 p.m.
Jan. 5 Thurs. LSU^ AUBURN 7 p.m.
Jan. 8 Sun. at Alabama^ Tuscaloosa, Ala. 2 p.m.
Jan. 12 Thurs. at Arkansas^ Fayetteville, Ark. 7 p.m.
Jan. 15 Sun. OLE MISS^ AUBURN 2 p.m.
Jan. 19 Thurs. at Kentucky^ Lexington, Ky. 6 p.m.
Jan. 26 Thurs. ALABAMA^ AUBURN 7 p.m.
Jan. 29 Sun. MISSISSIPPI STATE^ AUBURN 2 p.m.
Feb. 2 Thurs. at Florida^ Gainesville, Fla. 6 p.m.
Feb. 5 Sun. VANDERBILT^ AUBURN 2 p.m.
Feb. 12 Sun. at Ole Miss^ Oxford, Miss. 2 p.m.
Feb. 16 Thurs. SOUTH CAROLINA^ AUBURN 7 p.m.
Feb. 19 Sun. FLORIDA^ AUBURN 2 p.m.
Feb. 23 Thurs. at Tennessee^ Knoxville, Tenn. 7 p.m.
Feb. 26 Sun. at Georgia^ Athens, Ga. 1:30 p.m.
Mar. 2-5 SEC Tournament Little Rock, Ark. TBA
**ALL TIMES CT; ^SEC game
Dates and Times Subject to Change