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Women's basketball schedule released

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The women’s basketball team, trying to build on two straight WNIT appearances, released its 2011-2012 schedule over the weekend.

The nonconference slate is highlighted by a roadtrip to traditional power LSU, and a home match against tough intracity rival DePaul, which will be televised on the Big Ten Network. The Wildcats will also participate in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at home against NC State, and also travel to face Missouri in the Big Ten/Big XII Challenge. NU also will be in the Duel in the Desert tournament in Las Vegas over winter break, facing UNLV, Kansas State and North Dakota State.

The 16-game conference slate sees the Wildcats play each Big Ten foe home and away, except for Minnesota and Purdue, whom they’ll face only at home, and Nebraska and Ohio State, whom they’ll only face on the road.

The Wildcats will have a lot of new faces this year, as they’ll try to replace All-American center Amy Jaeschke, who is now playing professionally in Russia, as well as starting guards Beth Marshall and Meisha Reed, who also graduated.

Transfers Kate Popovec, a junior forward, and Anna Cole, a sophomore center, will be eligible to play after sitting out last season, and the team also welcomes a highly touted trio of freshmen: guards Morgan Jones and Karly Roser and forward Alex Cohen. Jones, a McDonald's High School All-American, should be a player to watch from the get-go.

The Wildcats return starters Kendall Hackney and Brittany Orban, both forwards, along with key reserves Allison Mocchi (guard), Dannielle Diamant (center) and Tailor Jones (guard), who is Morgan’s older sister.

NU is coming off a 19-14 season (6-10 in conference), reaching the second round of the WNIT. The Wildcats will be trying to reach the NCAA tournament for the first time since the 1996-97 season.