UNM Sports Information announced the Lady Lobos' non-conference schedule for the upcoming season on Tuesday. The 13-game schedule includes five games on the road – at perennial regional powers Texas Tech and Arizona as well as North Texas, Houston Baptist and in-state rival New Mexico State. That compares to four games last season and
"Every year our non-conference schedule is challenging, and this year is no different," Sanchez said in a press reelase. "We have more road games than usual this season, but the players are ready."
Sanchez said the Texas games are particularly important for the program – for recruiting purposes.
"We're going to be doing a lot of recruiting in Texas, so it's important for us to get out there and play some games," Sanchez said. "Texas Tech and North Texas are both home and home games, so that also benefits us."
The Lobos will kick off the season on Friday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. with an exhibition game versus Division II New Mexico Highlands at the Pit. UNM then hit's the road for Texas, playing long-time regional rival Texas Tech on Nov. 11 and North Texas on Nov. 14. Game times for both game are still to be determined.
The Lady Lobo's first regular season home game is against Big 12 power Oklahoma on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. The Sooners are coming off a Sweet 16 appearance in last year's NCAA tournament in Indianapolis.
UNM finishes up November and opens December with seven straight non-con games in The Pit, including the annual New Mexico Thanksgiving Tournament on Friday, Nov. 25 and Sat. Nov. 26. The tournament features Pepperdine, Morehead State and Idaho.
"Different conferences are going to be represented at this year's tournament, so it will showcase different talent from across the country," Sanchez said. "This is a plus for us, because it puts our team up against talent that they may not otherwise see early on in the season."
Other regional games include UTEP (Dec. 10) Northern Colorado (Dec. 15,) both at The Pit, as well as in-state rival New Mexico State. The Lady Aggies play at The Pit Sunday, Dec. 4 and host UNM in Las Cruces on Fri. Dec. 30.
The NMSU game is the last of a three-game road trip to close out 2011. The Lady Lobos play at Houston Baptist on Sun. Dec 18 and at Arizona on Thurs., Dec. 21
Loyola Marymount will visit to kick off December, as the Lobos will host the Lions on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m.
UNM closes out the non-conference slate at home on Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. playing host to last year's Conference USA champion, Houston. The Cougars finished 16-0 in CUSA play and racked up a 26-6 record, earning an eight seed before losing in the first round of the NCAAs to West Virginia.
All in all, six out of UNM's 14 non-conference opponents played in the postseason after the 2010-11 season – Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Houston (NCAA), Arizona, Pepperdine (WNIT) and Northern Colorado (WBI).
Women's Basketball Non-Conference Schedule
(Home games in red)
Nov. 4 New Mexico Highlands (Exhib.) 7 p.m.
Nov. 11 @ Texas Tech TBA
Nov. 14 @ North Texas TBD
Nov. 19 Oklahoma 2 p.m.
Nov. 22 Eastern New Mexico 7 p.m.
Nov. 25-26 New Mexico Thanksgiving Tournament 5/7 p.m.(UNM, Pepperdine, Morehead State, Idaho)
Dec. 1 Loyola Marymount 7 p.m.
Dec. 4 New Mexico State 1 p.m.
Dec. 10 UTEP 2 p.m.
Dec. 15 Northern Colorado 7p.m.
Dec. 18 @ Houston Baptist TBD
Dec. 21 @ Arizona TBD
Dec. 30 @ New Mexico State TBD
Jan. 2 Houston 7 p.m.