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UTRGV women's hoops will welcome Southern Cal to the Valley

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The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced on Monday that the women’s basketball team will host the two-time NCAA Champion University of Southern California (USC) on Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. at the UTRGV Fieldhouse as part of a 29-game schedule leading up to the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Tournament.

This is the first-ever meeting between UTRGV and USC and the first time UTRGV has hosted a Power-5 opponent since hosting Texas A&M on Dec. 18, 2000.

UTRGV’s schedule, which includes at least 15 home games, starts on Nov. 10 against Concordia at the Islanders Classic in Corpus Christi.

After facing Trinity the next day, UTRGV hosts Texas A&M-Corpus Christi for the home opener as part of the South Texas Showdown, presented by Navy Army Community Credit Union, on Nov. 14.

Six of UTRGV’s eight non-conference home games are part of three tournaments, including the Feast of Sharing Tournament against Florida A&M and Prairie View A&M Nov. 25-26, the Battle on the Border against UMass and UTSA Dec. 1-2, and the UTRGV Holiday Classic against Canisius and USC Dec. 19-20.

UTRGV also hosts Texas Lutheran while making trips to 2017 WNIT participant Oklahoma State, Corpus Christi for the South Texas Showdown, presented by Navy Army Community Credit Union, North Dakota State, Wisconsin, and Texas Tech.

“It’s definitely a prestigious thing to have the University of Southern California come to the fieldhouse,” UTRGV head coach Larry Tidwell said. “We host a series of good tournaments here. People like to come down and enjoy the warm weather and hospitality that the Rio Grande Valley and UTRGV provide. It’s all part of a tough non-conference schedule. Hopefully it will get us ready for a championship run in the WAC.”

UTRGV opens WAC play at home on Jan. 6 against UMKC. It’s the continuation of a five-game home stand, as UTRGV then hosts CSU Bakersfield and Grand Canyon Jan. 11 and 13.

UTRGV plays its first WAC road games of the season Jan. 18 and 20 at Utah Valley and 2017 WNIT participant Seattle U, respectively, before returning home to face Chicago State on Jan. 27 and three-time defending WAC Champion New Mexico State on Feb. 3.

UTRGV then visits Grand Canyon and CSU Bakersfield before closing out the home slate Feb. 15 and 17 against Seattle U and Utah Valley, respectively.

UTRGV wraps up WAC play with three-straight road games against UMKC, Chicago State and New Mexico State.

The WAC Tournament runs March 7-10 at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The WAC Tournament Champion earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

“There’s been a lot of coaching changes in the WAC. My congratulations go out to Mark Trakh, who is now the head coach at USC and had a great run in the WAC at New Mexico State,” Tidwell said. “Seattle U, CSU Bakersfield and Utah Valley are returning a lot of players. UMKC returns practically all of its players. New Mexico State is now under the direction of Brooke Atkinson, and they’re the ones that are going to be picked first until someone proves they can knock them off. There’s a new staff at Grand Canyon, and you can look for Nicole Powell to make that program exceptionally strong. There’s a lot of good athletes in the Chicago area, so I expect Chicago State to improve as well. The WAC is going to be really good this year.”

Season tickets for the 2017-18 season are on sale now and can be purchased online at UTRGVTickets.com or by calling (956) 665-3747.

Complete Schedule

Date Opponent Site Time (CT)

NOVEMBER

Islanders Classic

10 Concordia Corpus Christi TBD

11 Trinity Corpus Christi TBD

South Texas Showdown, Presented by Navy Army Community Credit Union

14 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Edinburg 7 p.m.

17 Oklahoma State Stillwater, Okla. 7 p.m.

21 Texas Lutheran Edinburg 7 p.m.

Feast of Sharing Tournament

25 Corpus Christi vs. Prairie View A&M Edinburg 12 p.m.

25 Florida A&M Edinburg 3 p.m.

26 Corpus Christi vs. Florida A&M Edinburg 12 p.m.

26 Prairie View A&M Edinburg 3 p.m.

South Texas Showdown, Presented by Navy Army Community Credit Union

29 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Corpus Christi 7 p.m.

DECEMBER

Battle on the Border

1 Mississippi Valley State vs. UTSA Edinburg 4:30 p.m.

1 UMass Edinburg 7 p.m.

2 Mississippi Valley State vs. UMass Edinburg 12 p.m.

2 UTSA Edinburg 3 p.m.

5 North Dakota State Fargo, N.D. TBD

6 Wisconsin Madison, Wisc. TBD

17 Texas Tech Lubbock 2 p.m.

UTRGV Holiday Classic

19 Middle Tennessee State vs. USC Edinburg 4:30 p.m.

19 Canisius Edinburg 7 p.m.

20 Middle Tennessee State vs. Canisius Edinburg 4:30 p.m.

20 University of Southern California Edinburg 7 p.m.

30 Orange vs. Gray Scrimmage Edinburg 2 p.m.

JANUARY

6 UMKC* Edinburg 7 p.m.

11 CSU Bakersfield* Edinburg 7 p.m.

13 Grand Canyon* Edinburg 7 p.m.

18 Utah Valley* Orem, Utah 12 p.m.

20 Seattle U* Seattle, Wash. TBD

27 Chicago State* Edinburg 7 p.m.

FEBRUARY

3 New Mexico State* Edinburg 7 p.m.

8 Grand Canyon* Phoenix, Ariz. TBD

10 CSU Bakersfield* Bakersfield, Calif. TBD

15 Seattle U* Edinburg 7 p.m.

17 Utah Valley* Edinburg 7 p.m.

22 UMKC* Kansas City, Mo. TBD

24 Chicago State* Chicago, Ill. TBD

MARCH

3 New Mexico State* Las Cruces, N.M. TBD

7 WAC Tournament Quarterfinals Las Vegas, Nev. 2/4:30/8/10:30 p.m.

9 WAC Tournament Semifinals Las Vegas, Nev. 2/4:30 p.m.

10 WAC Tournament Championship Las Vegas, Nev. 3 p.m.

16-17 NCAA Tournament First Round Campus Sites TBD

18-19 NCAA Tournament Second Round Campus Sites TBD

23-24 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Regional Sites TBD

25-26 NCAA Tournament Elite 8 Regional Sites TBD

30 NCAA Tournament Final Four Columbus, OH TBD

APRIL

1 NCAA Tournament Championship Columbus, OH TBD

All Times CT

*Denotes WAC Match

Home Games in Bold

Neutral Site Games in Italics

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