Norfolk State women’s basketball coach Larry Vickers recently announced the Spartans’ 2016-17 non-conference schedule. Vickers’ team will be road tested in his first full season on the bench, playing one home game in the first month of the season. “We have worked hard to put together a strong 2016-2017 non-conference schedule that will challenge our players and prepare us for our MEAC schedule,” Vickers said. “We are playing several regional opponents and will continue to look to add games of that stature in the future with a focus on bringing them to Echols Hall.” The non-conference schedule includes four Virginia schools, including their cross-town rival Old Dominion, which the Spartans have not faced on the hardwood since the 2008-09 season.
The Spartans kick off the regular season with seven of the first eight games on the road, including the season opener at North Carolina-Wilmington on Nov. 11. They open the home schedule Nov. 15, when they host St. Augustine’s at 5:30 p.m. That game is the first contest of a non-traditional doubleheader at Echols Hall that evening, with the NSU men facing Elizabeth City State afterward at 8 p.m. After the home-opener, the team will embark on a six-game road trip, beginning with the Old Dominion game on Nov. 18. The Spartans will travel to George Mason on Nov. 21 before heading to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Nov. 26-27, to compete in the Lehigh Thanksgiving Tournament. Hartford, Marist and host Lehigh round out the four-team field, with matchups still to be determined. The road trip concludes with games at High Point (Nov. 30) and Longwood (Dec. 3).
Norfolk State returns to action after a 12-day layoff for exams to close out the non-conference schedule with home games against William and Mary on Dec. 15 and Lincoln (Pa.) on Dec. 18, and road games against UNC Greensboro (Dec. 21) and at Towson (Dec. 29). The William and Mary game will be the 20th all-time meeting between the two teams, but the first at Echols Hall since the 2011-12 season. The final non-conference home game against Lincoln (Pa.) will be the first-ever matchup between the two schools. The conference slate begins on Wednesday, Jan. 4 at Morgan State. However, The Spartans’ play six of their next eight conference games at home, including a three-game home stand against Savannah State (Jan. 7), South Carolina State (Jan. 9) and North Carolina Central (Jan. 14).
Norfolk State travels to Delaware State on Jan. 16 before returning home for the first of two Battle of the Bay matchups against Hampton on Jan. 21. The Spartans will make their second trip of the month to Baltimore for a matchup against Coppin State on Jan. 23. The team will return home on Jan. 28 as Bethune-Cookman visits Echols, before defending MEAC Champion North Carolina A&T State visits Echols Hall on Jan. 30. The Spartans will return home for a game against UMES on Feb. 11, before traveling to the sunshine state for road games against Florida A&M (Feb. 18) and Bethune-Cookman (Feb. 20).
Senior Night will be Feb. 25 against Howard before the Spartans travel to Hampton on Feb. 27 to close out the regular season. The MEAC tournament runs March 6-11 at the Norfolk Scope Arena. The Spartans have seven players return from last year’s team along with six newcomers, including two eligible graduate student transfers.
For more information, log onto www.nsuspartans.com.