The 2023-24 Northwestern State women’s basketball schedule features multiple Power 5 opponents and a competitive mix of non-conference foes to accompany the gauntlet of foes that make up the Southland Conference slate.
The Demons begin their fourth year under head coach Anna Nimz with perhaps the most challenging three-game opening stretch to start a season in more than 20 years.
An opening-day matchup at Nebraska brings in the start of the new year on Nov. 6, followed two days later by a game at Kansas and ending at Tulsa on Nov. 12. NSU was schedule to play at Kansas during the 21-22 season but the game was canceled due to COVID during pregame warmups.
“The first things games of the 23-24 season are going to be incredibly tough,” Nimz said. “However, what a blessing it will be to go and play at such a high level so early on in our season. We will have the opportunity to quickly see where we can find success and where we need to grow. It will be early in the season, and we won’t be at our absolute best, but neither will they. Competing at the highest level is what it is all about, so we are excited for the early challenge”
After the long road trip through the Midwest, the Demons tip off for the first time in Prather Coliseum on Nov. 18 when they host Tarleton State, the first of a handful of similar opponents that make up a challenging but solid non-conference slate of teams.
The Demons return to former Southland foe Central Arkansas (Nov. 18), host Grambling (Nov. 22), and travel to Southern (Dec. 2) and ULM (Dec. 12) as part of a string of games against like opponents.
“When creating our schedule, we wanted to ensure we were playing teams across the board that will prepare us for a highly competitive SLC schedule,” Nimz said. “We will compete against teams from eight different conferences with no two teams alike. We are excited to have such a challenging host of teams, but also understand we need to compete at a high level well before SLC play.”
The Demons will play three home games in the span of six day around Thanksgiving, beginning with Grambling on the 22nd and ending with Arkansas Baptist (Nov. 25) and Southern of New Orleans (Nov. 28).
After the trip to take on the Jaguars on Dec. 2, the Demons return to Baton Rouge to face the other team from the state capital whose mascot is feline based in defending national champion LSU on Dec. 17.
Between the game with the Tigers and the start of the conference play, NSU will host Champion Christian in an exhibition game at Prather Coliseum on Dec. 30.
The conference slate sees the Demons hosting three of their first four Southland games with McNeese (Jan. 4), HCU (Jan. 11) and UIW (Jan. 13). A road trip to Lamar on Jan. 6 breaks up the string of home games to start SLC play.
NSU then plays three straight road games at Southeastern, New Orleans and McNeese, completing the season series with the Cowgirls within the first month of league play on Jan. 25. After a home game with A&M-Corpus Christi (Jan. 27) and a trip to Nicholls (Feb. 1), the Demons then host three straight games from Feb. 3 through Feb. 10 with Texas A&M-Commerce, New Orleans and Southeastern all coming to Prather Coliseum during that time.
The second three-game road swing immediately follows the Feb. 10 game with the defending SLC champion Lions that take the Demons to Corpus Christi, UIW and HCU.
A Leap Day home game with Nicholls (Feb. 29) and visit from Lamar (March 2) close out the home portion of the schedule before a quick trip to Commerce (March 6) wraps up the regular season.
“Every year the SLC continues to get more and more competitive,” Nimz said. “Our schedule presents us with challenges in terms of travel, but overall, we are ready to compete and level up. We have made the tournament back-to-back years but have not extended our stay past one game. We are focused on making that different this season.”
The Southland Conference Tournament will be held in Lake Charles at McNeese’s Legacy Center from March 11-14.
Season tickets and single game tickets for the 2023-24 season are now available for purchase by visiting www.nsutickets.com or by calling 318-357-4268.