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Ole Miss Women’s Basketball Released 2015-16 Schedule

Ole Miss Women's Basketball vs Alabama on January 11th, 2015 in Oxford, MS.

The opening of the $95 million Pavilion at Ole Miss and a 29-game slate featuring 17 home dates along with an appearance on ESPN2 highlight the 2015-16 Ole Miss women’s basketball schedule released by head coach Matt Insell on Thursday. The Rebels will host eight SEC foes including 2015 NCAA Final Four participant, South Carolina along with in-state rival Mississippi State and perennial women’s basketball power, Texas A&M, during the conference slate.

“We are excited about the challenges that our schedule will present us this season,” said Insell. “With nine of our 13 players being freshmen or sophomores the enthusiasm and energy couldn’t be higher around our program. Our non-conference schedule features 16 teams that played in the postseason last year, which will allow us to grow as a team against really good competition in preparation for January which starts, what I believe, is the toughest conference schedule in our league this season.”

The Rebels will host nine non-conference foes and will open the season on November 13 when they host Mississippi Valley State in the 13th annual School Kids game at 11 a.m. from Tad Smith Coliseum. Ole Miss will spend the Thanksgiving holiday in the Big Apple traveling to play Stony Brook (Nov. 27) and Wagner (Nov. 29). Additionally, the non-conference slate will feature the third and final matchup of Insell vs. Insell, as Ole Miss travels to Murfreesboro to face the Blue Raiders in the Murphy Center on November 22.

In all, Ole Miss only leaves the friendly-confines of Oxford three times in non-conference action with its only other road trip coming in a trip to Hattiesburg to take on Southern Miss – a team the Rebels defeated 68-66 in Oxford last season.

After opening the season on November 13 against Mississippi Valley State, Ole Miss welcomes Louisiana-Lafayette (Nov. 15) and Missouri State (Nov. 19) before hitting the road for three straight road games at Middle Tennessee (Nov. 22) at Stony Brook (Nov. 27) and at Wagner (Nov. 29).  Ole Miss will host 2015 NCAA Tournament participant Western Kentucky (Dec. 2) and Arkansas – Pine Bluff (Dec. 6) before heading to Hattiesburg to take on in-state foe, Southern Miss.

“Preparing our team for January is what we use the non-conference schedule for and this year’s slate presents different challenges for our team. The non conference is highlighted by our trip to New York City, which is exciting for our program. The east coast is an area of the country we recruit, so taking our team to that part of the country and allowing freshman Alissa Alston to go home and play in front of family and friends makes it even more exciting.”

The Rebels close the non-conference slate with a stretch of four home games. Hosting a trio of schools form the state of Louisiana, Ole Miss welcomes New Orleans (Dec. 14), Tulane (Dec. 16) and McNeese State (Dec. 19) before breaking for the winter holidays.   Ole Miss closes the non-conference slate on December 29 against Alabama A&M.

“The SEC is the toughest conference, top to bottom, in collegiate women’s basketball. You’re playing the best teams in the country night in and night out,” said Insell. “I’m really excited about the opportunities this schedule presents our program and even more excited about having programs like South Carolina, Texas A&M, and Kentucky coming to The Pavilion.”

The Rebel women’s basketball team will play its first game in the brand new Pavilion at Ole Miss on January 10 when the Florida Gators become the first opponent for the Rebels in their new home during the grand opening weekend at the new Pavilion at Ole Miss. The Ole Miss men’s team will kick off the weekend on Thursday Jan. 7 when they take on Alabama in the first-ever game at the new home for Ole Miss basketball.  Ole Miss women’s basketball called Tad Smith Coliseum home for 42 years and currently boasts a nearly 80 percent winning percentage in what Ole Miss fans affectionately call the “Tad Pad.”

For the third consecutive season, the Rebels will open SEC action at home, hosting the Vanderbilt Commodores on January 3 before traveling to Baton Rouge to face LSU on January 7. Ole Miss is seeking its second consecutive win in an SEC opener after defeating Arkansas last season – its first SEC opening win in three seasons.

After The Pavilion at Ole Miss opening weekend, the Rebels will play three out of their next four on the road. In that span, Ole Miss will travel to Texas A&M (Jan. 14), Mississippi State (Jan. 18) and South Carolina (Jan. 28) while hosting Kentucky (Jan. 21).

Missouri comes to The Pavilion at Ole Miss on January 31 before the Rebels hit the road again for back-to-back games against Alabama (Feb. 4) and Georgia (Feb. 7).

“This year’s schedule, more so than in the past, is challenging because of our home-and-home opponents which are South Carolina, Texas A&M and Mississippi State. This will be a major challenge for our young basketball team, but it provides great opportunity for our program to take another major step towards the top of college basketball.”

The Rebels close out the month of February with four of its last six games at The Pavilion at Ole Miss. Ole Miss hosts Auburn (Feb. 11) and Texas A&M (Feb. 15) before traveling to Tennessee on Feb. 18. The Mississippi State Bulldogs travel to Oxford on Feb. 21 for a nationally televised game on ESPN2 followed by a visit from the South Carolina Gamecocks on February 25. Ole Miss closes the regular season on February 28 against Arkansas in Fayetteville.

The 2016 SEC Tournament will be held March 2-6 in Jacksonville, Florida at Veterans War Memorial Arena.  The SEC Network will televise the first three days of the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament while the semifinals will be aired on ESPNU, and the championship game on ESPN.

In total, Ole Miss will make a minimum of nine television appearances in the regular season with the option of additional non-conference games being selected for television. Additionally, all Ole Miss home games not selected for television will be produced for SEC Network +, and will be available on WATCHESPN and SECSports.com.

“The opportunity to play on ESPN2 at home and showcase our program and new arena will be continue to open up doors for exposure for our program,” said Insell. “Playing eight games on national television is a step in the right direction for our program as we continue to build towards the top of both the SEC and collegiate women’s basketball.”

ESPN2 and ESPNU will produce a combined 13 conference contests and the SEC Network will televise more than 40 conference games. In addition, new for the 2015‐ 16 season, the SEC Network will present two nights of whip‐ around coverage, a live look‐ in to every women’s basketball contest played on Thursday, January 7th and Thursday, February 25.

There will also be a package of televised non‐ conference games, which will be announced by each individual institution. Additionally, institutions will have the ability to produce conference and non‐ conference games not televised, for SEC Network +, exclusive games.

All of the games included in the ESPN package (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU) and the SEC Network will be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 or Xbox One to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider. Fox Sports Net events will be available via these avenues outside the SEC Footprint only.

Women’s basketball season tickets are available for purchase and are just $50. For additional ticket information, go to OleMissTix.com or call the Ole Miss Ticket Office at 1-888-REB-TKTS (732-8587.)

For all Ole Miss women’s basketball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com, and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissWBB, Facebook at Ole Miss WBB and on Instagram at Ole Miss_WBB.   Fans can also follow Ole Miss women’s basketball head coach Matt Insell on Twitter at @minsell.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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