Above graphic provided by Neil Faux/@FauxFx
BELTON- Coming off an impressive 18-1 ASC record and two NCAA Tournament victories a year ago, the UMHB women’s basketball team has big expectations entering the 2022-2023 campaign. And their schedule, released Saturday morning, is evidence of that.
The Cru is set to open the season with six consecutive road duels, played at either the opponent’s home court, or a neutral site. In fact, head coach Mark Morefield’s team will travel 2,600 miles in less than a month, beginning with the season opener at Emory in Atlanta, Georgia, on Nov. 19. Emory went 15-9 overall, 8-6 in University Athletic Association (UAA) play, last season, and with just three players having graduated from the 2021-22 roster, is expected to be a competitive opponent.
A day later, on Nov. 20, the Cru faces Lynchburg in Atlanta. Lynchburg posted a 16-11 record last season, and ended its season in the semifinals of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Tournament.
For the second straight year, UMHB faces Schreiner. But this time around, the contest will be in Kerrville, Texas, about 148 miles from Belton. The 2021-22 version of the matchup saw UMHB emerge with an 88-71 victory five days before Christmas. This year’s contest is scheduled around another holiday, played six days after Thanksgiving on Nov. 30, with a 6 p.m. tip-off.
ASC play begins thereafter for the defending regular season conference champs, who finished the year ranked No. 16 by D3hoops.com. A 1 p.m. matchup at Concordia (TX) begins the conference schedule, followed by a road trip through east Texas, with games at LeTourneau (Dec. 8) and ETBU (Dec. 10). ETBU was the only team to beat UMHB in conference action last season.
It is not until Dec. 15 that the Cru plays at the Mayborn Campus Center in Belton, with its home-opener against Howard Payne. After a second home game against Sul Ross State two days later, UMHB plays four more non-conference matchups. They will battle Trinity, who finished the season ranked No. 6, on Dec. 19, and Puget Sound on Dec. 20. Both games will be in San Antonio.
Their two non-conference duels at home will be against nationally-recognized opponents on Dec. 29 and Dec. 30, coming off a short holiday break. Piedmont was 21-6 a year ago, and UC-Santa Cruz went 16-4. Both have great potential entering the season and will certainly challenge the Crusaders.
Also notable is a stretch of five home games in early February, which includes games against Hardin-Simmons and ETBU. Both programs were ranked in the Top 25 at various points of last season and reached the NCAA Tournament.
The entire 2022-2023 schedule is listed below:
Nov. 19 Emory 2:00 Away
Nov. 20 Lynchburg 2:00 Away
Nov. 30 Schreiner 6:00 Away
Dec. 3 Concordia 1:00 Away
Dec. 8 LeTourneau 5:30 Away
Dec. 10 East Texas Baptist 1:00 Away
Dec. 15 Howard Payne 5:30 Home
Dec. 17 Sul Ross State 1:00 Home
Dec. 19 Trinity (TX) 6:00 Away
Dec. 20 Puget Sound 6:00 Neutral
Dec. 29 Piedmont 5:00 Home
Dec. 30 UC-Santa Cruz 5:00 Home
Jan. 5 Ozarks 5:30 Away
Jan. 7 UT-Dallas 1:00 Away
Jan. 12 Hardin-Simmons 5:30 Home
Jan. 14 McMurry 1:00 Home
Jan. 21 Concordia 1:00 Home
Jan. 26 East Texas Baptist 5:30 Home
Jan. 28 LeTourneau 1:00 Home
Feb. 2 Sul Ross State 5:30 Away
Feb. 4 Howard Payne 1:00 Away
Feb. 9 UT-Dallas 5:30 Home
Feb.11 Ozarks 1:00 Home (Senior Day)
Feb.16 McMurry 5:30 Away
Feb. 18 Hardin-Simmons 1:00 Away
Feb 23-25 ASC Tournament