The DII women's basketball season is quickly approaching, set to tipoff around the nation the weekend of Nov. 8. Lubbock Christian enters the season looking to defend its second title in four years.
But first, there's a little Division I top-25 action to take care of for the Lady Chaps.
As the old sports saying goes, to be the best, you need to beat the best. Well, Lubbock Christian has shown they can hang with anyone in DII so the Lady Chaps are taking their talents on a DI Texas swing. Lubbock Christian will play three exhibition games against 2019 top-25 opponents in a seven-day span, including a showdown with the 2019 national champion Baylor Bears.
The Lady Chaps start in Austin on Oct. 28 against No. 23 Texas before taking the near 100 mile-trek north to Waco to meet up with No. 1 Baylor. They then hit the road for Starkville to take on 2018 national runner-up and the No. 4-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs.
TOURNAMENT PREP: How the DII women's basketball championship works
While it may seem the daunting task for the Lady Chaps, they have had success against DI schools in the past. Here's a quick look at the history of Lubbock Christian against DI women's basketball programs:
- Dec. 11, 2007 (regular season): Lubbock Christian 75, Houston Baptist 72
- Nov. 9, 2009: Lubbock Christian 71, Texas Tech 65
- Nov. 2, 2013: Lubbock Christian 80, Houston 73
- Nov. 3, 2015: Lubbock Christian 39, UConn 95
- Oct. 28, 2018: Lubbock Christian 62, SMU 51
- Oct. 30, 2018: Lubbock Christian 55, New Mexico 62
That's a 4-2 record against DI programs, and if you ask us, that's pretty darn good. Digging a little deeper, you'll see that after that Nov. 3 loss to UConn, the Lady Chaps never lost again, rumbling off a 35-0 record en route to their first DII women's basketball title.
“That was the most enjoyable 56-point loss I could ever imagine,” head coach Steve Gomez told NCAA.com shortly after the Lady Chaps battle with UConn. “Before going, I told people it was like preparing for a Category 5 hurricane when all we had done was run through the sprinkler in our front yard.
“It was a chance to see the best. While sometimes it is human nature to root for the underdog, I not only continue to have great respect for that program, we are now huge fans of their coaches and players. They were tremendous on and off the court and competed with great ferocity but exhibited class and a gracious attitude before, during and after the game.”
It clearly left an impression on Gomez and the program who have now been to three DII Women's Elite Eights in their four years as an official DII program.
DII MEN'S BASKETBALL: DII vs. DI men's exhibition game tracker
Let's take a look at some more notable DI vs. DII women's basketball exhibition games this fall (all times Eastern).
- Oct. 25: California (Pa) at Maryland, 6 p.m.
- Oct. 26: Winona State at Marquette, 3 p.m.
- Oct. 27: Florida Southern at Florida State, 2 p.m.
- Oct. 27: UC San Diego at UC Riverside, 5 p.m.
- Oct. 27: Union (TN) at Oregon State, TBA
- Oct. 28: Lincoln (MO) at Missouri State, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 28: Lubbock Christian at Texas, TBA
- Oct. 30: Lubbock Christian at Baylor, TBA
- Oct. 30: Missouri Western at Iowa State, TBA
- Oct. 30: Southern Indiana at Kentucky, 8 p.m.
- Oct 30: Southwest Oklahoma State at Tulsa, 6 p.m.
- Oct. 31: Anderson (SC) at N.C. State, TBA
- Nov. 1: Ashland at Dayton, 7 p.m.
- Nov. 1: Fort Hays State at Kansas State, TBA
- Nov. 1: North Georgia at South Carolina, TBA
- Nov. 2: Nova Southeastern at Florida Atlantic, 2 p.m.
- Nov. 3: Alaska Anchorage at Duke, 2 p.m.
- Nov. 4: Lubbock Christian at Mississippi State, 8 p.m.
- Nov. 4: Northwest Nazarene at Montana State, TBA