The Missouri Valley Conference has finalized its 2020-21 women’s basketball schedule, the league office announced Tuesday (Sept. 22), with the Lady Bears set to begin defense of their 2020 MVC championship on New Year’s Day at Evansville.
Missouri State will complete its first trip through the league schedule with nine January games, starting at Evansville (Jan. 1) and Indiana State (Jan. 3) with additional road games at Valparaiso (Jan. 15) and Loyola (Jan. 17). The Lady Bears have five home games in the month, hosting Illinois State (Jan. 8), Bradley (Jan. 10), UNI (Jan. 22), Drake (Jan. 24) and Southern Illinois (Jan. 29) at JQH Arena.
MSU spends the bulk of February on the road, with a Feb. 12 and 14 home weekend against Loyola and Valpo surrounded by trips to Bradley (Feb. 5), Illinois State (Feb. 7), Drake (Feb. 19), UNI (Feb. 21) and SIU (Feb. 26).
The Lady Bears wrap up the regular season at home against Indiana State (March 4) and Evansville (March 6), and the MVC Tournament will be held March 11-14 at TaxSlayer Center in Moline, Ill.
The Lady Bears return four starters and the bulk of their statistical production from last season’s club for year two under Amaka Agugua-Hamilton. MSU went 26-4 overall and 16-2 in league play last season, winning the outright regular season championship and ending the year ranked 19th in the USA Today Coaches Poll and 23rd by the Associated Press.
Missouri State’s non-conference schedule is in process after the NCAA announced a Nov. 25 start date for college basketball last week. Along with the later start date, the Division I Council reduced the number of allowable games by four and eliminated all exhibition contests for 2020-21.