WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — The Big Ten Conference announced the 2018-19 women's basketball schedule Tuesday, unveiling the dates and locations of the final 18 regular-season games for the Boilermakers this season. Purdue opens conference play Friday, December 28, hosting Ohio State at Mackey Arena.
The conference expanded the women's basketball schedule back to 18 games after playing the last two seasons at 16, culminating with the Big Ten Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, starting March 6.
The Boilermakers open conference play at home for the first time since the 2011-12 season, holding a 20-16 all-time record in conference openers, including a 10-5 mark in Mackey Arena and an 8-4 record under head coach Sharon Versyp. The game will be the first time Purdue and Ohio State open the Big Ten slate against each other since 2014, when the Boilermakers traveled to Columbus, falling 89-78.
Purdue rings in the New Year at Wisconsin, playing the Badgers on New Year's Eve, and then returns home for consecutive home games at Mackey Arena against Michigan on Jan. 5 and Iowa on Jan. 10. After playing three of their first four at home, the Boilermakers turn around and play four of the next five on the road, heading to Northwestern on Jan. 13 and Rutgers on Jan. 16, before returning to Mackey to host archrival Indiana on Sunday, Jan. 20. The road swing wraps up at Minnesota and Iowa, playing the Hawkeyes for the second time in 17 days in Iowa City on Jan.27.
The Boilermakers finish off January, hosting Nebraska on the final day of the month and then head to East Lansing, Michigan for a Feb. 3 tilt at Michigan State. Purdue hosts Illinois on Feb. 7 and turns around and goes to Lincoln, Nebraska for their second meeting with the Cornhuskers in an 11-day stretch.
Minnesota visits Mackey Arena on Valentine's Day, for the first of back-to-back home games as Purdue then hosts Northwestern on Feb. 17. The Boilermakers head to State College, Pennsylvania to face the Lady Lions on Feb. 21, and conclude the home schedule on Feb. 25 against Maryland, set to celebrate seniors Abby Abel and Nora Kiesler. The regular-season finale is scheduled for March 3, heading to Indiana to close out the schedule before the Big Ten Tournament. The game at Indiana will be played for the Barn Burner Trophy and is the first time Purdue and Indiana have finished the regular season against each other since 2012, a 90-58 victory at Mackey Arena.
Purdue opens its season Nov. 4, hosting Ashland University for an exhibition game, and starts the regular season on the road, heading to Ball State on Wednesday, Nov. 7.