Tournament teams highlight USD women’s basketball 2012-13 schedule

Early season matchups against six postseason tournament teams will highlight the University of South Dakota's 2012-13 women's basketball schedule released by first-year head coach Amy Williams.

The Coyotes have six tournament teams from last year on their non-conference slate, including three NCAA tournament qualifiers. Two of those NCAA qualifiers, Creighton and Idaho State, will be at the DakotaDome this season.

USD will be at NCAA qualifier Kansas State, WNIT qualifiers Drake and Utah State, and WBI runner-up Northern Iowa this season.

"We're excited about the challenge this schedule presents to us," Williams said. "With those teams that played in postseason tournaments last year on the schedule, we will be prepared for the challenges that will come in what should be a very competitive Summit League."

The Coyotes are eligible for an NCAA tournament bid for the first time and will make their first appearance in the Summit League Tournament at the end of the regular season. South Dakota earned a 12-6 conference mark last year in what was its first season of Summit League play.

The Coyotes will start the season with road contests at Cleveland State (Nov. 9), Drake (Nov. 11) and Northern Iowa (Nov. 15). USD will host Creighton for its home opener (Nov. 20) before traveling to California for the Pepperdine Holiday Tournament (Nov. 23-24). The Coyotes will play Pepperdine in the opener and either Seton Hall or Wyoming on day two.

Four of the Coyotes next five games will be played inside DakotaDome including a (Nov. 29) matchup with defending Big Sky Conference Champion Idaho State. USD matches up with Kansas State of the Big 12 (Dec. 9) in Manhattan, KS. Peru State (Dec. 15), Utah State (Dec. 20) and Boise State (Dec. 22) finish off the non-conference slate.

USD will waste no time in playing old North Central Conference rivals. They will host Omaha in the conference opener (Dec. 30), and then will be on the road at North Dakota State (Jan. 3) before taking on South Dakota State in Brookings (Jan. 6).

On the second swing through the conference, the Coyotes will host SDSU on (Jan. 30) and NDSU on (Feb. 2). USD will play in its first Summit League Tournament starting on March 9.

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