WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — The Big Ten Conference unveiled the 2016-17 women’s basketball schedule Monday afternoon, revealing the Boilermakers’ 16-game conference schedule and completing the squad’s opponents for the year. Head coach Sharon Versyp and her team will start conference play on New Year’s Eve, traveling to Northwestern.
After playing an 18-game conference slate last season, the Big Ten coaches returned to 16 games in 2016-17. The Boilermakers will play home-and-home against three opponents, host five teams for single-game plays and head out on the road five times for single-game foes.
The 14-game non-conference schedule wraps up on Dec. 21, as the Boilermakers host IUPUI in Mackey Arena for a noon tip, and then will take full advantage of a 10-day holiday break as the rest of the Big Ten will start play on Dec. 28. After heading to Northwestern to open conference play, Purdue returns home for games vs. Michigan State (Jan. 4) and Penn State (Jan. 7). Three of the next four games come on the road, hosting Ohio State between trips to Wisconsin and Indiana, and then putting an early finish to the Michigan State series, heading to East Lansing for the Boilermakers’ second game against the Spartans in their first seven conference games.
The schedule flips at the end of January as Purdue hosts Nebraska and Maryland in back-to-back home games, then heads over the border to Illinois before coming back to Mackey Arena to face Michigan. The Boilermakers make an East Coast swing to Penn State and Rutgers on Feb. 11 and 15, respectively, but play two of their last three at home hosting Iowa, heading to Minnesota and then rounding out the conference schedule with a senior-day tilt against Northwestern. It marks the second time in the last five seasons that Purdue has opened and closed conference play with the same opponent, playing Illinois in the Big Ten opener and conference regular season finale in 2012-13.
The Boilermakers officially start practice Oct. 2, and host Ursuline College for their exhibition opener in Mackey Arena on Nov. 6.