The slate features 14 home games, including three of the Huskies’ first four games of the season, which is a stark contrast from last year’s five-game, season-opening road trip
“From a travel-friendly and home games standpoint, the non-conference schedule is a great change from last year,” said second-year NIU head coach Kathi Bennett. “It’s going to help us a lot in hopefully building some momentum at home before going into our conference games because we weren’t at home at all last year.”
Last season, the Huskies had played only two home games before Dec. 31.
This year, NIU will play six prior to the new year. After starting the season at Loyola Chicago on Nov. 13, the Huskies will host Western Illinois (Nov. 16), Temple (Nov. 20) and Bradley (Nov. 23).
NIU will then alternate home and road games until a two-game road trip to end December and close its non-conference slate.
The Huskies go to Illinois State (Nov. 26) before hosting Southern Illinois (Nov. 29). NIU then goes to Chicago State (Dec. 11) prior to welcoming in Illinois-Chicago (Dec. 14). The alternating ends with a pair of Indiana foes as the Huskies travel to face Indiana (Dec. 17) and host Indiana State (Dec. 22).
NIU rounds out the non-conference schedule with contests at Eastern Illinois (Dec. 29) and DePaul (Dec. 31).
The Huskies start Mid-American Conference play at home Jan. 5 against Central Michigan before embarking on one of two two-game conference road trips. The Huskies host back-to-back MAC West Division champion Toledo on Jan. 14 and travel to two-time defending MAC champion Bowling Green on Feb. 1.
“We have such great coaches and I feel like the MAC is one of the best mid-major leagues,” Bennett said. “It keeps getting better. There are so many teams that are gaining ground, including us. Everybody keeps getting better. It’s a highly, highly competitive league and it’s really fun to be a part of because of that.”
The Huskies will play one exhibition contest before the regular season begins. NIU brings Indiana-Wesleyan to the Convocation Center on November 8.
For more information on NIU women’s basketball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.