Men, women release basketball schedules

     The UTSA Athletic Department released the 2006-2007 men’s and women’s basketball schedule last Thursday.

     The men begin with an exhibition opener against Abilene Christian on Nov. 2 while the women begin with the Dallas Diesel on October 29.

     The men’s schedule is highlighted by a west coast road trip in mid-November against perennial powerhouse Gonzaga and Pac-10 member Washington State. The men will also play a home game at the Alamodome against UTPA Nov. 12.

     ”The whole goal of our scheduling is to play stiff competition to get ready for conference play,” Men’s Head Coach Brooks Thompson said.

     The womoen will take on four tough road games right out of the gate when they will travel to Big 12 powerhouse Texas Tech, then to SMU, UTEP and finally New Mexico State.

     ”We always try to play a tough non-conference schedule, but this is by far the toughest,” Women’s Head Coach Rae Rippetoe-Blair said.

      The women will also play in three tournaments including two at home.

      The men begin conference play on Jan. 6 against Lamar after a showdown with Oklahoma State.

     Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Central Arkansas will join the Southland Conference this season. The Southland will split into two divisions, six teams competing in each division.

     ”You’re adding two quality programs that will make your league tougher,” Thompson said.

     Because of the Southland Conference’s mirror scheduling format, the men and women will play the same team in conference play at opposing venues on the same day.

     The women also open conference play against Lamar in Beaumont.

     Another change adopted by the Southland Conference is the postseason tournament played in one location.

     In past seasons, the team with the better conference record would host the playoff game at their home site.

     All men’s and women’s Southland Conference Tournament games will be played at the Campbell Center in Houston between March 7-11.