ASHEVILLE, N.C. – UNC Asheville women's basketball head coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick revealed the 2017-18 non-conference schedule on Friday which features an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) opponent, conference champions, an Education Day and several regional opposition.
"I am extremely pleased with our non-conference schedule because it will present tough challenges as well as a few new regional opponents that our fanbase will be excited about playing," Kirkpatrick said.
The Bulldogs will begin their preseason with a home exhibition on Nov. 3 versus Mars Hill University. The exhibition is set to begin at 7 p.m. inside Kimmel Arena. Over a week later, UNC Asheville will start its regular season on the road on Nov. 12 at Western Carolina. The Bulldogs look to make it three straight victories over the Catamounts as Asheville won last year's matchup 62-53 and 67-45 two seasons ago in Cullowhee, N.C.
Two days later, UNC Asheville will travel to Raleigh, N.C. where it will square off against NC State. The Wolfpack went 23-8 last year including posting a 12-4 record in the ACC. NC State recorded wins over No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 6 Florida State, No. 9 Louisville and No. 12 Duke last season, and the Pack finished the 2016-17 season ranked 17th in the country, according to the Associated Press (AP). With the high national ranking, the NCAA awarded the Wolfpack an at-large invitation to the NCAA Tournament. They defeated Auburn 62-48 in the opening round before they were bounced out of the tournament by No. 14 Texas.
Following a tough opponent, Asheville will host its first home game of the season on Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. as the Bulldogs welcome Charlotte to Kimmel Arena. The 49ers went 21-10 last year while posting impressive wins over Wisconsin and Pittsburgh. The Bulldogs will hit the road for their third away game of the season as they travel to Davidson on Nov. 22, and five days later, UNC Asheville returns home to face Middle Tennessee State University on Nov. 26 at 2 p.m. MTSU finished second in Conference USA as the Blue Raiders went 23-11 overall and 15-3 in C-USA play.
To conclude the month of November, UNC Asheville will travel to Spartanburg, S.C. to face Wofford on Nov. 30 at 7 p.m.
Last season UNC Asheville set the program home attendance record (2,257 fans) on Education Day, and the Bulldogs have scheduled another Education Day promotion against Warren-Wilson on Dec. 4 at 11:30 a.m. Last year the Bulldogs downed the Owls at home 113-51 including posting 40 points in the third quarter.
"I am excited that we were able to plug another Education Day game in our non-conference slate because it was such an awesome experience last year for both teams and of course the community schools," Kirkpatrick said.
For the first time of the season, Asheville will host back-to-back home games as it will entertain Southern Conference Regular Season Champions Mercer on Dec. 10 at 1 p.m. The Bears finished the 2016-17 season at 25-7 overall and 12-2 in the SoCon, but they missed the automatic bid into NCAA Tournament as they fell 61-59 to Chattanooga in the SoCon Championship. However, Mercer was invited to participate in the WNIT where it fell to Alabama in the opening round.
UNC Asheville will play its final non-conference road game on Dec. 16 as the Bulldogs travel to Spartanburg, S.C. to battle USC Upstate at 2 p.m.
To conclude the non-conference schedule, Asheville will host back-to-back home games on Dec. 21 against Appalachian State and Dec. 28 versus Furman. Both games will tip at 7 p.m. inside Kimmel Arena.
"We designed our non-conference schedule to prepare our young ladies to compete in the Big South. We also wanted to have a tough regional schedule that gave our fans plenty of opportunities to watch our players in person. We have accomplished that with these eleven opponents," Kirkpatrick said.
To view the full non-conference schedule, click HERE.
UNC Asheville is currently accepting deposits for season tickets, and fans can reserve their season ticket for only $50 per seat. The season ticket includes both men's and women's home regular-season basketball games.
To purchase your tickets today, please visit HERE.