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Burke releases non-conference slate for 2019-20

Photo by: DSPics.com
Photo by: DSPics.com

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Ocean State Tip-Off Tournament and two Big Ten opponents highlight the Bryant University women's basketball non-conference schedule, as announced Tuesday by head coach Mary Burke.

The 11-game slate kicks off Nov. 5 and includes five home contests and six road matches.

"The 2019-20 non-conference season continues the tradition of strong competitive programs from around the region. The strength of these programs will test our readiness to live up to our own expectation of success," Burke stated. "The highlight of the non-conference schedule will be right before Thanksgiving when we play in front of two national audiences at both Illinois and Minnesota. With several experienced players returning, and the high level of expectations for our newcomers, the expectation is to meet all the challenges that these games provide."

The Pizzitola Sports Center sets the scene for Bryant's season opener as the Bulldogs take on in-state rival Brown on Nov. 5. Last season the Bulldogs split with the Bears taking the first meeting, 75-57, in Bryant's home opener before falling in the opening game of the Ocean State Tip-Off.

The Bulldogs host New Hampshire Nov. 9 for their home opener before enduring a four-game road stretch at Vermont (Nov. 17), Holy Cross (Nov. 20), Illinois (Nov. 24), and Minnesota (Nov. 26). The final games of November mark the first time that Bryant will meet with both Illinois and Minnesota and the first time that the Black and Gold will clash with a Big Ten Conference foe since Rutgers in 2016. 

Bryant opens the month of December in Smithfield against UMass Lowell as part of a Monday night doubleheader. Since moving into the Division I era, the Bulldogs lead the series, 4-1, after Sydney Holloway (Morgantown, W. Va.) edged out the River Hawks in the final seconds of the season opener last year, 58-57.

The Ocean State Tip-Off Tournament comes to the Chace Athletic Center for the first time since the establishment of the local tradition in 2016. Bryant opens the two-day tournament with Providence on Dec. 7 followed by a meeting with either Rhode Island or Brown on Dec. 8 for a possible consolation or championship game.

The following weekend, Bryant and Albany meet for the first time in program history as the Bulldogs host the Great Danes in a Friday afternoon showdown in Smithfield on Dec. 20.

The Bulldogs close out the non-conference schedule in West Point, New York, against Army for the first time since 2012. Bryant looks to even the series as the Cadets lead, 2-1.

Northeast Conference play kicks off at the Chace Athletic Center on Jan. 2 for a Thursday afternoon doubleheader against Saint Francis U. The full 2019-20 season schedule can be found HERE.

Be sure to follow the women's basketball team all season long on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.