Radford University women’s basketball head coach Mike McGuire announced the non-conference portion of the Highlanders’ 2017-18 schedule Tuesday, with highlights including three games against power five conference teams and an appearance in the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic.
After posting 24-9 mark a season ago that saw the program’s first Big South Regular Season Championship in 25 years, McGuire’s Highlanders will face a challenging slate that features only four home contests in the 11-game non-conference schedule. On the docket will be five opponents that the Highlanders played during the 2016-17 campaign, posting a 4-1 record.
“I really like our non-conference schedule this season. There will be familiar opponents from last season’s schedule that will challenge us with their style of play and returning roster experience,” McGuire added. “I fully expect this to be a demanding November and December for our program which is what we need heading into Big South play.”
After hosting Lynchburg Nov. 5 for an exhibition matchup, Radford opens the home portion of its schedule against Appalachian State in a Nov. 12 battle. The Highlanders’ other November home contest comes against UNC Greensboro in a post-Thanksgiving battle on Nov. 28.
“We are also looking forward to competing against Power 5 schools in North Carolina, West Virginia, and Virginia Tech,” McGuire noted. “I also look forward to hosting a great in-state program in VCU in the Dedmon Center as well as taking our team to Las Vegas for a pre-Christmas tournament.”
On Nov. 16, Radford will travel down to the heartland of the Atlantic Coast Conference to face North Carolina in the 11th meeting between the two teams and first since 2012. The Tar Heels hold a 7-3 edge in the all-time series. The Highlanders will take on New River Valley foe Virginia Tech in the 36th all-time meeting on Dec. 3 as Radford looks to knock off two ACC opponents in a season for the first time in program history.
Following the Highlanders final true road non-conference matchup on Dec. 7 at Western Carolina, Radford will host VCU for the first time in seven years with a Dec. 10 matchup. The all-time series between the Highlanders and Rams is locked 16-16.
Playing the first of three straight neutral site contests, Radford and West Virginia will get together for a border bash played in Charleston, West Virginia on Dec. 16. The two border foes have only met one other time with the Mountaineers taking a 64-28 victory Dec. 2, 2009.
Christmas will come early for the Highlanders as they will travel to the Silver State for the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic at South Point Arena. Radford will face Abilene Christian (Dec. 21) and Towson (Dec. 22) in the classic.
Radford will wrap-up non-conference play against NCAA Division II in-state foe UVa-Wise on Dec. 30 in the first meeting between the two Commonwealth foes since 1977.
“We want to learn a great deal about our team before January and we believe this schedule will do just that,” McGuire said.
— RU Athletics