Tarleton women’s basketball announces 2021-22 schedule, opens Nov. 10 at Arkansas
STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton women's basketball is officially just six weeks away from returning, as head coach Misty Wilson revealed the team's complete 2021 schedule on Tuesday.
The Texans will play a total of 29 games – 15 home and 14 away – in their second season of NCAA Division I. Tarleton's nonconference lineup features six home contests versus regional foes and five road affairs against D1 competition before Western Athletic Conference play commences on Dec. 30.
"I think this schedule is perfect for what we want and what we need out of this second year of transition," Wilson said. "It provides a great deal of challenge in some areas, it provides us opportunities to get fans in our gym, and it's spread out. We're not playing in any back-to-back games – no tournaments this year – it's just all games. It's exactly what we wanted, and we were really lucky for it to shape up the way it did."
The 2021-2022 season begins in earnest on Nov. 10 when Tarleton makes its first trip to Hog Hill in school history to face Arkansas in Fayetteville. The contest marks the first meeting between the two programs and Tarleton's second-ever matchup opposite an SEC foe. Tarleton played its first game against a SEC and Power Five conference opponent when the program faced Florida in Gainesville on Dec. 14.
"It's a great measuring stick for us," Wilson said. "A lot of people don't think we get anything out of those games, but we do. It really exposes and tells you a lot about your team and your players in those games."
Fans will then have their first opportunity to see the Texans inside Wisdom Gym on Nov. 13 when Tarleton hosts Champion Christian College. The game versus Champion Christian, which is located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, kicks off a three-game homestand. Following the tilt against the Tigers are home games against Paul Quinn on Nov. 16 and Howard Payne on Nov. 20.
Tarleton boasts familiarity with all three programs.
The Texans defeated Champion Christian 95-27 during the 2020-2021 season in what was a historic performance. Tarleton set a program record for most 3-point field goals made in a single game with 16. The 68-point margin of victory was the largest ever in the Misty Wilson era. The team's 32 turnovers forced were also a single-game high by a Wilson-coached team.
A 76-50 victory over HPU on Nov. 28, 2020, was Tarleton's first win of its Division I era and the 2020-2021 campaign. The Texans and Yellow Jackets have squared off a total of 23 times, with Tarleton owning a 17-6 advantage in the series. Tarleton boasts an 8-2 overall record against Paul Quinn. The teams last met in 1990.
"Those games are going to be crucial in giving those new players the opportunity to get a feel for an in-game situation within our offense," Wilson said. "So that's what those opportunities are designed for, is to really allow our players to come around and run our offense in a game situation."
Tarleton then turns around to make its farthest trip east of the season for a Nov. 23 road tilt against College of Charleston. The contest will be the first-ever meeting between the Texans and Cougars, who compete in the Colonial Athletic Association.
"I'm really looking forward to that trip," Wilson said. "Right there near the beach. It'll be a fun experience for our players. We'll try to find them some things to do while we're there. Some players have never been to the east coast, so it'll be fun for them."
After breaking for Thanksgiving, Tarleton then welcomes Western Illinois to Stephenville for its first "D1 vs. D1" non-conference home game.
"Western Ilinois is a game that stands out in my mind, just because of their style of play," Wilson said. "They do some different things, so I think it gives us a different look and does a good job of preparing us for what we might see."
The Texans will play three of their next four games at home, beginning with the contest vs. the Leathernecks and concluding with a Dec. 13 matchup opposite Oral Roberts. Sandwiched in between the two ballgames is a home date with Arlington Baptist on Dec. 4 and a plane ride to Utah on Dec. 11 to face Weber State.
"It's exciting," Wilson said of the Division I home games. "You don't want the Division I transition to feel like it's just a concept. You want it to be a reality, and games against Division I opponents in Wisdom Gym is a reality."
Rounding out the nonconference portion of Tarleton's schedule is a regional road trip to take on Northwestern State on Dec. 18 and Incarnate Word on Dec. 22.
A matchup with the Cardinals represents a revival of an old Lone Star Conference rivalry. UIW was a LSC member up until 2013 when it transitioned to the Southland Conference and NCAA Division I. The Texans boast an eight-game winning streak over the Cardinals and a 19-8 head-to-head record.
Three of the first five weeks of conference play will see the Texans reside in the friendly confines of Stephenville.
Tarleton begins WAC play with a weekend home series against Dixie State (Dec. 30) and Utah Valley (Jan. 1). Following a road swing through east Texas to face conference newcomers Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin on Jan. 6-8, the Texans square off with New Mexico State and Grand Canyon on Jan. 13 and Jan. 15, respectively. The team then closes out the month of January vs. Lamar (Jan. 27) and UTRGV (Jan. 29) after heading west for one-off games against California Baptist (Jan. 20) and Seattle U (Jan. 22).
Five of Tarleton's next six WAC affairs are away from home. Tarleton makes its lone three-game road trip of the year following its home clash with Lamar, beginning with a matchup at Chicago State on Feb. 5. The Texans will make the short drive west to meet Abilene Christian on Feb. 12 before returning the trip to Utah Valley on Feb. 17.
Tarleton then makes the quick turnaround back to Stephenville to cap its season series against Chicago State on Feb. 19 inside Wisdom Gym.
The Texans close out their road schedule with contests at UTRGV (Feb. 24) and Lamar (Feb. 26). Tarleton puts a bow on the 2021 campaign with a home game against Sam Houston on March 3 before hosting Senior Day on March 5 vs. Abilene Christian.
Tarleton's regular season finale vs. the Wildcats marks its final ballgame of the 2021-22 season. The program is ineligible to compete in postseason tournaments while the athletic department completes its NCAA-mandated Division I transition.
Tipoff time and TV specifications for each matchup will be announced at a later date. Individual home game tickets will be available in the coming weeks at TarletonSports.com/Tickets in the coming weeks.
Games are expected to return to normal operating procedures this winter with capacity back to 100-percent availability inside Wisdom Gym.
"I can't even put that into words," Wilson said. "It's going to be so, so big for our players who missed out on that last year. And the student body - I think our games are pretty entertaining – and to have the Plowboys and the Poo and PA.N.K.U.S. and The Sound and Fury and Foul Play present, having every aspect of what we bring to a game at Tarleton is going to be so fun."
Visit the Tarleton women's basketball page on TarletonSports.com to access full schedule details.