Highlighted by 13 home games and a Thanksgiving tournament featuring several top teams, the Cal State Northridge women's basketball team released its 2011-12 schedule. Under second-year head coach Jason Flowers, the Matadors will tackle a slate of regional rivals in addition to the demands of the Big West Conference season.
"It's an exciting schedule, one that should provide challenges to prepare us for our league campaign," Flowers said. "I am especially excited for our holiday tournament. To have teams like UCLA and West Virginia coming to the San Fernando Valley for a match-up that should be one of the top games in the country that weekend."
The Matadors will open the 2011-12 season with four games on the road. CSUN starts the season with a Nov. 11 contest at San Francisco and then comes back to Los Angeles to face Loyola Marymount on Nov. 14.
Following the trip to Seattle, Northridge will host its 2011-12 home opener as part of the Woodland Hills Holiday Inn Thanksgiving Basketball Classic 2012. The four-team affair (West Virginia, UCLA, Colgate and CSUN) will bring in some of the top teams in country to the newly renovated Matadome.
West Virginia made its fifth NCAA appearance in the last eight seasons and was 24-8 overall in the 2010-11 season. UCLA finished the year 28-5 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Mountaineers and Bruins will open the tournament with a 5 p.m. contest on Friday, Nov. 25.
The Matadors' home opener centers around a meeting with Colgate, set for 30 min. after the completion of the West Virginia-UCLA game on Nov. 25. The Raiders are under the direction of first-year coach Nicci Hays Fort and finished 7-22 last season.
On Nov. 26, the two winning teams from the day before will square off for the tournament title following the completion of the consolation contest. Both days are slated to start 5 p.m.
In fact, the Woodland Hills Holiday Inn Thanksgiving Basketball Classic 2012 opens a stretch for CSUN where it will play five of six at The Matadome. Northridge starts December with a home contest against Santa Clara on Dec. 1. Two days later, the Matadors will make a short trip to Malibu to face Pepperdine.
Northridge will return home for their next two games, match-ups with San Jose State and Fresno State. The Matadors and Spartans square off on Dec. 7 while the Bulldogs pay a visit to The Matadome on Dec. 11.
CSUN closes out the majority of its non-conference schedule with a return visit to the Pacific Northwest in late December. On Dec. 19, Northridge faces Oregon at Matt Arena in Eugene, Ore., and then faces Portland on Dec. 21.
The Matadors then begin their circuit around the Big West Conference, ultimately preparing for a berth in the 2012 Big West Tournament, which runs from Mar. 8-12 and the winner of which receives the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.