September 16, 1998
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s basketball team has announced its 26-game schedule for the upcoming 1998-99 campaign. The slate features 14 homes games and six teams which last year participated in the 64-team 1998 NCAA tournament field.
Visits by UCLA, Duke, Illinois and BIG EAST rival Connecticut highlight the home schedule for Notre Dame. The Irish return four starters from last season’s 22-10 squad which advanced to the Sweet 16 and finished 17th in the final USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.
After two exhibition games on November 4 and 11, Notre Dame begins a challenging first month of the season when it opens up at home against UCLA on Saturday, November 14. This will be the 12th meeting between the two schools and the second straight year the Irish and the Bruins have played each other. Last year, Notre Dame earned it first-ever win at Pauley Pavilion with a 93-91 double overtime decision.
Former Midwestern Collegiate Conference foes, Butler and Notre Dame resume their rivalry for the 24th time when the Irish travel to Indianapolis for a contest on November 18. The two teams opened up the 1997 season at Notre Dame with the Irish earning a 71-65 victory.
Notre Dame then plays back-to-back home games against Duke (November 21) and Illinois (November 24). The Irish and Blue Devils will be meeting for the fourth time and the second straight year. Last season, Duke beat Notre Dame 80-62 in Durham, N.C. Notre Dame and Illinois will meet for a fourth time this season, and first time since 1982; the Illini have won all three previous games played between the two teams.
The Irish conclude the month of November with a non-league contest and a first-ever visit to San Francisco. The two schools met for the first time last year as the Irish earned a 15-point decision, 62-47.
Other non-conference teams on the Irish schedule include visits to South Florida (December 19) and Michigan State (December 21).
Notre Dame plays three conference games in the month of December. The Irish open up their 18-game league slate at home against five-time defending BIG EAST champion Connecticut on December 8, the only time the two teams will face each other this season. That contest will be followed by Villanova visiting the Joyce Center on December 12. Notre Dame travels to Boston College on December 28 for its first league road test of the season.
The Irish meet Rutgers and Miami, two teams which along with Notre Dame and Connecticut represented the BIG EAST in the ’98 NCAA tournament, just once during the campaign. Notre Dame plays at Rutgers on February 13, while the Hurricanes visit the Joyce Center on February 23 in the final regular season game for both teams.
For the second straight year, the BIG EAST Championship will be held in Piscataway, N.J. at the Louis Brown Athletic Center, February 27-March 2.