Western Michigan Women's Basketball Announces 2012-13 Schedule
"We are looking forward to the season and to the challenges our schedule will present for us," Clipfell said. "We have a nice cross section of conferences including the Big Ten, America East, Conference USA, Atlantic-10, Horizon, Summit and Patriot League. Our non-conference foes include six post-season participants."
WMU will have two pre-season warm-ups in the friendly confines of University Arena, hosting Wayne State (11/2) and Trine University (11/7) in exhibition games. The Broncos then officially open the 2012-13 season at home against defending regular-season Patriot League champion American (11/10). From there the team endures the most taxing part of its travel schedule, playing six of the next seven contests on the road.
Over a three week period, Western Michigan will travel to Milwaukee (11/14), Northern Arizona (11/23 & 11/24), Detroit (11/28), Oakland (12/1) and IUPUI (12/5). The Broncos' lone home game in that span will be against Albany (11/18). While in Flagstaff, Ariz., at Northern Arizona, the Broncos will partake in a four-team Thanksgiving tournament taking on host NAU and either Tulane or Bradley.
Following the trip to IUPUI to begin the month of December, WMU closes out the non-conference schedule with five contests, including home games against Chicago State (12/8) and Valparaiso (12/19). The Broncos square off with Big Ten foe Michigan in Ann Arbor (12/15), and are also on the road at UIC (12/28) and A-10 heavyweight Temple (1/7).
"There are a number of high-quality programs on the non-conference schedule," Clipfell said. "American is the reigning Patriot League champion with 23 wins last year and has advanced to the post-season in four of the last five years. Detroit, Tulane and Temple are also coming off 20-plus win seasons, as well as WNIT appearances, with Temple making its ninth-straight post-season appearance. Michigan recorded 20 wins, while Albany won 23, and both of those teams played in the NCAA Tournament. UIC won 18 games, while and IUPUI returns 85 percent of their scoring from a year ago. We have a very young team, and this schedule will throw us into the fire early and often, but we will embrace those challenges."
The 16-game MAC schedule will have a little different look than in years past, in which the format was five games vs. division opponents, followed by six games of cross-divisional play and concluded with a second round against the five divisional opponents. For 2012-13, teams will still play opponents from their division twice (once at home, once on road), but cross-divisional games will be mixed throughout.
Western Michigan opens the MAC slate with home games against Eastern Michigan (1/10) and Miami (1/13), and will also host Akron (1/19), Ball State (1/31), Bowling Green (2/10), Central Michigan (2/20), Toledo (2/28) and Northern Illinois (3/6). Conference road games are as follows: Central Michigan (1/16), Northern Illinois (1/23), Buffalo (1/26), Toledo (2/3), Kent State (2/7), Ohio (2/16), Eastern Michigan (2/23) and Ball State (3/3). First round games of the MAC Tournament (held at campus sites) are set for March 9, with the final three rounds to be held in Cleveland at Quicken Loans Arena, March 13-16.
"The Mid-American Conference season will be extremely difficult as well and we will use this non-conference schedule to prepare us for those rigors," Clipfell added.