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COLUMBUS, Ohio – A trip to Duke for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the preseason WNIT and a challenging 18-game Big Ten slate highlight the 2009-10 Ohio State women’s basketball schedule.

The season begins Nov. 13 at home against Eastern Illinois in the opening round of the WNIT. The Buckeyes, who are ranked among the Top 5 in some early preseason polls, are one of 11 teams in the field that competed in postseason play in 2009. Eastern Illinois was 24-9 last season — the most Division I wins in school history — and advanced to the OVC tournament title game. The winner of the Ohio State-Eastern Illinois game advances to play the winner of the Bowling Green-Chicago State game Nov. 15.

Another highlight of the schedule is the annual Buckeye Classic over Thanksgiving weekend. This field includes IUPUI, Southern and California. The Buckeyes will face the Jaguars of IUPUI Saturday, Nov. 28, followed by a possible Nov. 29 matchup with California, who was a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16 before losing to eventual national champion UConn.

After the Buckeye Classic, the competition heats up with three-consecutive games against ACC, Big Ten and SEC foes. Ohio State travels to Durham, N.C., Dec. 3 to face Duke in the 2009 Big Ten/ACC Challenge in what will be one of the marquee matchups of the 2009 non-conference schedule. Duke was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament last year before losing in the second round on the road at Michigan State. The Blue Devils were 27-6 overall, 11-3 in ACC play and a perfect 14-0 at home.

Three days later, Ohio State will open Big Ten play at home against Wisconsin Dec. 6 before traveling to Ole Miss a week later for a date with the Rebels in Oxford, Miss. Wright State, Alabama A&M and Western Illinois complete the non-conference portion of the schedule before the Buckeyes dive back into Big Ten play for the remainder of the season. Ohio State will play each conference foe twice with the exception of Iowa and Penn State. The Buckeyes will host the Hawkeyes Thursday, Feb. 4 and travel to Penn State three days later.

The Big Ten Network, ESPN and CBS will once again provide the Buckeyes and the Big Ten with unprecedented national television coverage. At least 10 conference games will be broadcast on one of the three networks (see schedule below) while non-conference times and TV selections will be announced at a later date. All Big Ten games not televised will be broadcast live on BigTenNetwork.com.

In addition, all 10 games of the Big Ten tournament will be broadcast live on national television for the third-consecutive year with the first nine contests appearing on the Big Ten Network and the championship game broadcast on ESPN2.

Ohio State returns four starters from last season and is coming off a record-setting 2008-09 campaign. The Buckeyes won their record-tying fifth-consecutive Big Ten regular-season championship, won the Big Ten tournament title and advanced all the way to the NCAA Sweet 16. They recorded 29 wins, which tied for the third-most in Division I. Sophomore Jantel Lavender took home State Farm/WBCA Coaches and USBWA All-America honors and also won Big Ten Player of the Year honors for the second-consecutive season. Samantha Prahalis was named Big Ten freshman of the year, Shavelle Little was the defensive player of the year for the second-straight season while head coach Jim Foster earned his fourth Big Ten coach of the year honor in five seasons.

2009-10 Ohio State Women’s Basketball Schedule

Day Date Visiting Team Home Team Site TV Time
Fri. Nov. 13 Eastern Illinois* @ Ohio State Columbus, Ohio    
Sun. Nov. 15 Chicago State/BGSU* @ Ohio State Columbus, Ohio    
Tues. Nov. 17 Alabama-Birmingham @ Ohio State Columbus, Ohio    
Wed. Nov. 19 WNIT* TBA TBA    
Sun. Nov. 22 WNIT* TBA TBA    
Wed. Nov. 25 UNC Greensboro @ Ohio State Columbus, Ohio    
Sat. Nov. 28 IUPUI# @ Ohio State Columbus, Ohio    
Sun. Nov. 29 California/Southern# @ Ohio State Columbus, Ohio    
Thur. Dec. 3 Ohio State$ @ Duke Durham, N.C.    
Sun. Dec. 6 Wisconsin @ Ohio State Columbus, Ohio BTN 2 EST
Sun. Dec. 13 Ohio State @ Ole Miss Oxford, Miss.    
Tues. Dec. 15 Wright State @ Ohio State Columbus, Ohio    
Sat. Dec. 19 Alabama A&M @ Ohio State Columbus, Ohio    
Tues. Dec. 22 Western Illinois @ Ohio State Columbus, Ohio    
Mon. Dec. 28 Ohio State @ Illinois Champaign, Ill.    
Thur. Dec. 31 Ohio State @ Northwestern Evanston, Ill.    
Sun. Jan. 3 Michigan @ Ohio State Columbus, Ohio    
Sat. Jan. 9 Ohio State @ Michigan State East Lansing, Mich. CBS 2 EST
Thur. Jan. 14 Illinois @ Ohio State Columbus, Ohio    
Sun. Jan. 17 Indiana @ Ohio State Columbus, Ohio BTN 2/4:30 EST
Thur. Jan. 21 Ohio State @ Michigan Ann Arbor, Mich.    
Mon. Jan. 25 Ohio State @ Purdue West Lafayette, Ind. ESPN2 7 EST
Thur. Jan. 28 Minnesota @ Ohio State Columbus, Ohio BTN 7:30 EST
Sun. Jan. 31 Ohio State @ Indiana Bloomington, Ind. BTN Noon EST
Thur. Feb. 4 Iowa @ Ohio State Columbus, Ohio BTN 7:30 EST
Sun. Feb. 7 Ohio State @ Penn State State College, Pa.    
Thur. Feb. 11 Purdue @ Ohio State Columbus, Ohio BTN 7:30 EST
Sun. Feb. 14 Ohio State @ Minnesota Minneapolis, Minn. BTN 2:30 EST
Thur. Feb. 18 Ohio State @ Wisconsin Madison, Wis.    
Sun. Feb. 21 Michigan State @ Ohio State Columbus, Ohio ESPN2 3 EST
Thur. Feb. 25 Northwestern @ Ohio State Columbus, Ohio
Thur-Sun. March 4-7 2009 Big Ten Tournament Indianapolis, Ind. BTN/ESPN2

BTN wildcard games of Feb. 25 (1 game) and Feb. 28 (2 games) to be selected no later than Feb. 1, 2010
*Preseason WNIT
#Buckeye Classic, St. John Arena
$Big Ten/ACC Challenge