NORMAN, Okla. -- University of Oklahoma Head Women's Basketball Coach Sherri Coale and Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Joe Castiglione announced the Sooners' 15-game non-conference schedule Wednesday.
The Big 12 Conference also announced its women's basketball schedule for 2013-14, completing the calendar for Oklahoma's 40th season.
"Once again, we're able to showcase our team in front of our home fans with 12 of our 15 pre-conference games inside the Lloyd Noble Center," Coale, who begins her 18th season as head coach, said. "We're excited to be tested early, with the Preseason WNIT, and often, with several superior opponents both home and away, as we prepare for the Big 12 schedule and the path to the NCAA Tournament."
The Sooners boast the return of four starters from last season's Sweet 16 squad and expect the return of two with starting experience, redshirt-freshman guard Maddie Manning and sophomore forward Kaylon Williams, from season-ending injuries. OU also introduces five true freshmen.
"The schedule is well-balanced and will challenge our core group of veterans and introduce our newcomers to the college game. I'm thrilled to begin the next season of Oklahoma Women's Basketball."
Season ticket deposits for the 2013-2014 season are on sale now and may be purchased online at SoonerSports.com or by calling the OU Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 456-GoOU. Single game tickets will go on sale in October.
Oklahoma begins the 2013-14 season hosting two exhibition games. Cameron visits the Lloyd Noble Center Saturday, Nov. 2, and Central Oklahoma visits Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Tip-off times and broadcast information will be announced at a later date.
As previously announced, Oklahoma will be a host of the Preseason WNIT and play Stetson in the first round Friday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. Central. The Sooners will meet either Wichita State or IPFW, opponents in another first-round game, Sunday, Nov. 10. The third round is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 14 with the Preseason WNIT Championship Game to be televised live nationwide Sunday, Nov. 17, at 3 p.m. Central on the CBS Sports Network.
Oklahoma hosts UT Arlington Wednesday, Nov. 20, before traveling to Los Angeles to meet UCLA for the third time in just over a calendar year Sunday, Nov. 24. OU and UCLA split their contests last season with the Bruins stealing victory at OU's home opener before the Sooners ran away in the NCAA Second Round.
Creighton, who joins the BIG EAST Conference this season after winning a share of the Missouri Valley Conference crown last year, visits Norman Dec. 1 to start a string of homestands that includes Western Illinois on Dec. 4, nationally-ranked Duke on Dec. 8, and Maryland Eastern Shore on Dec. 15.
OU makes a swing through New England over the Winter Break, playing at Fairfield (Dec. 18) and Marist (Dec. 21) before returning home for its non-conference finale against Samford on Dec. 29.
The Big 12 Conference schedule features a double round-robin format of 18 games with two visits against each league opponent, one at home and one away.
Oklahoma's conference calendar is bookended by games versus Texas Tech. OU and the Lady Raiders play in Lubbock, Texas, to begin the Big 12 season Jan. 2 and end the slate in Norman on March 3.
The Sooners remaining home conference dates are Jan. 5 vs. Iowa State, Jan. 11 vs. Kansas State, Jan. 25 vs. TCU, Feb. 1 vs. Oklahoma State, Feb. 3 vs. Baylor, Feb. 13 vs. West Virginia, Feb. 19 vs. Texas, and Feb. 22 vs. Kansas.
Oklahoma City will host the 2014 Phillips 66 Big 12 Women's Basketball Championship March 7-10 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Big 12 Conference championship has been contested in Oklahoma City twice before in 2007 and 2009, however those events were held in the Cox Convention Center.
Two first round matchups will be played on Friday, March 7, followed by quarterfinals on Saturday, March 8. Semifinals are scheduled for Sunday, March 9 with the final contested on Monday, March 10. The winner earns the Big 12's automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship.
The NCAA announced in June rules changes that will be implemented for the 2013-14 season. A 10-second backcourt rule, like in the men's college game, will be instituted and the five-second closely guarded rule in the backcourt has been eliminated.
Officials have also been granted more access to replay reviews at certain periods of the game to determine shot-clock violations, whether a shot was a two-point or three-point field goal, possession and to determine which player should be credited with a foul. Officials may also use the monitor to determine if a flagrant foul has been committed.