MORAGA, Calif. — The Saint Mary's women's basketball team will face three NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago, take on five power-conference opponents, and play in two different tournaments as part of its competitive 2017-18 non-conference schedule, announced Thursday by head coach Paul Thomas.
The Gaels (20-13 in 2016-17) open the season against East Bay rival California on Nov. 10. They will also travel to Mountain West Conference Tournament champion Boise State and take on Big Ten Conference power Purdue. All three of those programs played in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Saint Mary's hosts its annual Hilton Concord Classic over Thanksgiving weekend Nov. 24-25. It will also head to West Lafayette, Ind., for Purdue's Basketball Travelers Inc. Invitational on Dec.17-20.
Saint Mary's will open its season against neighbor California for the second straight year, this time in Berkeley after falling short in last year's opener in Moraga. Both teams finished with near identical records in 2016-17 and both made the postseason.
On Nov. 12, SMC hosts its 2017-18 home opener with Pac-12 member Washington State in the house. The Cougars broke 22 program records in an explosive 2016-17 season. Saint Mary's continues its opening home stand against Big West foe Cal Poly, who the Gaels downed last season, 79-71, in San Luis Obispo.
Then comes the Gaels' annual Hilton Concord Classic on Thanksgiving weekend. Big West competitor UC Santa Barbara and one of the Gaels' five different power-conference opponents, Indiana, will be in attendance.
Saint Mary's ends November and begins December by returning games to Boise State (Nov. 30) and Utah (Dec. 2), both of whom played in the 2016 Hilton Concord Classic. The Gaels play their final home non-conference game on Dec. 9 versus UC Davis.
SMC ends its non-conference slate at Purdue University's Basketball Travelers Inc. Invitational on Dec. 17-20. The Gaels will face UT Martin, Eastern Washington and finish the tournament against Big Ten challenger Purdue to prepare them for WCC Conference play, which starts on Dec. 28.
Fans can find news on when season and single-game tickets go on sale by staying tuned to SMCGaels.com and following @SMCGaels on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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