NEO Releases WBB Schedule - KOAM TV 7

NEO Releases WBB Schedule



MIAMI — Over the last several years, building a full regular season basketball schedule has become increasingly difficult for Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Lady Norse head coach Jim Rowland.

While constructing the 2017-18 season, Roland had to become even more creative with his approach.

“Not only is this season going to be tough because we lost six players that gave us significant minutes as starters last year, but the composition of our 28 games is different,” Rowland said. “We have more junior varsity teams than I would like to have.

“It’s been hard to schedule games ever since the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference realigned and cut down the number of non-conference games to just four,” Rowland said. “That kind of put a strain on me because for me to go out and try to find games around the area that are drivable is very difficult now.

“We had been making the four-hour trip to Hutchinson, Kansas because I loved going over there,” Rowland said. “But, the changes even did away with their long-standing classic.”

During the first month of the season, the Lady Norse will participate in five classics and 10 games in Arkansas, Kansas, Texas and two in Missouri.

“The way the NJCAA is now, having a lot of junior varsity games don’t help you in the national rankings,” Rowland said.  “They want you to play as many Division I schools as possible so you will have quality wins.”

Another big factor in arranging a schedule is the history and success that the Lady Norse program has experienced over the years.

“That’s another thing that hinders our ability to pick up a home-and-home series with another team,” Rowland said. “Some people don’t want to play us because of that reason, but at the same time, there are schools that do want to play us.

“We’re dipping into Missouri this year and going back to State Fair in Sedalia,” Rowland said. “We haven’t played at either State Fair or Moberly in more than 15 years.

“I’ve never been contacted by any schools, other than Crowder, to come up there and play,” Rowland said. “It’s just been tough getting games.”

Entering his 13th season as head coach, Rowland is 16 victories away from the 300-win plateau. Last season the Lady Norse won their fourth consecutive Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference title with a 15-1 record.

NEO captured their second straight Region II Tournament Championship and finished 14th in the NJCAA Women’s Division I National Tournament with a 29-3 record.

The Lady Norse are 47-1 over the last four years on their home court which included 11-0 last year.

NEO begins the season at 5:30 p.m., Nov. 1 by hosting Oklahoma Wesleyan University junior varsity in the NEO Field House.

Traveling to Little Rock, Arkansas on Nov. 3-4, the Lady Norse competes in the Arkansas Baptist College Tip-Off Classic. Opponents and specific times are yet to be determined.

Returning to the NEO Field House at 5:30 p.m., Nov. 8, the Lady Norse face arch-rival Coffeyville (Kansas) Community College. The Lady Ravens finished 21-10 last year.

Remaining at home for a 5:30 p.m. game on Nov. 9, the Lady Norse entertain the newly formed Missouri Southern State University junior varsity. Former Lady Norse assistant Kelby Fritz is the head coach.

NEO travels to Highland, Kansas on Nov. 10-11, for the Highland Scotties Classic before competing in the State Fair Lady Greyhound Classic, Nov. 17-18, in Sedalia, Missouri.

Making the 435-mile trip south of the Red River to Athens, Texas, Nov. 24-25, the Lady Norse play in the Trinity Valley Community College Thanksgiving Classic.

Returning home at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 28, the Lady Norse open defense of their conference crown against Connors State College. Last season the Cowgirls finished 8-8 in the OCAC and 19-9 overall.

NEO visitis Tonkawa at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 30, for a conference game with the Northern Oklahoma College Lady Mavericks in Foster-Piper Field House. The Lady Mavs posted a 4-12 conference mark and an 11-18 season record last year.

During the month of December, the Lady Norse have a return game at 5:30 p.m., Dec. 6 against the MSSU JV before closing out the first half of the schedule Dec. 8-9 in the Crowder College Classic at Neosho, Missouri.

“We are playing in a classic every weekend is first half of the season,” Rowland said. “I really don’t like that because I’m gone every weekend, but that’s the only way I felt like I could build my schedule.”

The entire schedule is as follows:

November — 1, Oklahoma Wesleyan JV; 3-4, at Arkansas Baptist Classic; 8, Coffeyville, Kansas; 9, Missouri Southern JV; 10-11, at Highland, Kansas Classic; 17-18, at State Fair, Missouri Classic; 24-25, at Trinity Valley, Texas Classic; 28, *Connors State; 30, *at Northern-Tonkawa.

December — 6, at Missouri Southern JV; 8-9, at Crowder College, Missouri Classic.

January — 8, *Seminole State; 11, *at Eastern State; 15, *Western State; 22, *at Northern-Enid; 25, *Murray State; 29, *Redlands.

February — 1, *at Connors State; 5, *Northern-Tonkawa; 8, *at Seminole State; 12, *Eastern State; 15, *Western State; 22, *Northern-Enid; 26, *at Murray State.

March — 1, *at Redlands; 7-10, at Region II Tournament in Shawnee; 18-23, at NJCAA National Tournament in Lubbock, Texas. 

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