New Mexico State head women's basketball coach Mark Trakh released the Aggies' 2011-12 hoops schedule Wednesday that includes a dozen games against teams that played in postseason tournaments a year ago.
Trakh's squad is set to host 16 games at the Pan American Center for the second straight season - matching the third-most amount of home contests in the NM State record books. It marks the 13th season that the Crimson and White play host to 15 or more opponents in the regular season. In those previous 12 seasons, NM State averaged 20 wins per year.
The Aggies' upcoming non-conference ledger consists of nine home match-ups and six road contests. Prior to the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) schedule, NM State tips against four opponents with 2011 postseason appearances. The Aggies open the season at NCAA Tournament selection Houston (Nov. 11). NM State later hosts Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) opponents Arizona (Nov. 21), and UC Santa Barbara (Dec. 19). The Aggies travel to Utah (Dec. 21), another NCAA Tourney squad, in its final road trip of 2011.
"I think one of the highlights of our schedule will be when we host Arizona on Nov. 21," said Trakh. "We hope to have a big crowd for that one along with our rivalry games."
Rivals UTEP and New Mexico are also on the Aggie docket for a pair of home-and-home contests. NM State hosts the Miners on Nov. 16 before traveling to El Paso at the end of the month on Nov. 29. The Aggies open and close December against the Lobos. NM State travels to UNM on Dec. 4 and completes the Rio Grande Rivalry on Dec. 30 at the Pan American Center.
New Mexico State will look for its fifth consecutive Aggie Hotel Encanto Thanksgiving Classic title on Nov. 25-26. North Dakota, Nicholls State and Southern Utah complete the lineup of the two-day holiday tournament.
Former WAC rival Boise State also shows up for a pair of contests on NM State's 29-game schedule in Boise on Dec. 11 and in Las Cruces Jan. 7. Idaho State visits the Mesilla Valley for the home opener (Nov. 14) to kick off a five-game home stand. The Crimson and White open 2012 against Shaw (Jan. 1) and at Missouri-Kansas City (Jan. 4).
"Our schedule is a challenging one," said Trakh. "We play a lot of teams that made the postseason last year. There are also a lot of opportunities for our fans to come out and support us with 16 home games. We're looking forward to the challenge."
Hired in early April, Trakh is the 10th head coach in NM State history and has nearly 30 years of head coaching experience, including 16 at the NCAA Division I level at both Southern California and Pepperdine. The new sideline general takes over an Aggie team that returns two starters from a squad that finished the season at 14-18 after a quarterfinal appearance in the 2011 WAC Tournament. Trakh and his staff added five commitments since his hire to complement a pair of 2011 fall signees to build an incoming freshman class of seven.
NM State opens WAC play with five of its first seven games at home in 2012. The Aggies battle 2011 WNIT participant Utah State at home on Jan. 12. Two days later, Idaho comes to town after a Women's Basketball Invitational appearance last season.
On Jan. 19, the Aggies make their first conference road trip to San Jose State before trekking to Hawai'i for a game on Jan. 21. WAC regular-season champion and NCAA participant Louisiana Tech invades Las Cruces to close out the month of play on Jan. 28
Defending WAC Tournament champion and NCAA qualifier Fresno State visits the Pan American Center on Feb. 2. WNIT participant Nevada completes the first half of the league schedule in Las Cruces on Feb. 4.
The Aggies host just two of their final seven conference games to finish the regular season slate, starting with road contests at Idaho (Feb. 9) and Utah State (Feb. 11). NM State begins senior week at home against Hawai'i (Feb. 16). The four Aggie seniors will be recognized in the home finale against San Jose State (Feb. 18).
NM State faces three tough road contests to complete the season beginning with a trip to LA Tech (Feb. 25). The team wraps up the regular season with contests at Nevada (Mar. 1) and Fresno State (Mar. 3).
The 2012 WAC Tournament will be held at a neutral site in Las Vegas for the second year in a row. The Orleans Arena will play host to both the men's and women's conference basketball tournaments March 7-10.
On Halloween, the Aggies will host New Mexico Highlands for an exhibition contest Oct. 31 in preparation for the opener at Houston on Nov. 11.
For all of the latest Aggie women's basketball news, click NMStateSports.com.
2011-12 NM State Women's Basketball Schedule
Date Opponent Location
Oct. 31 New Mexico Highlands (exhibition) Las Cruces, N.M.
Nov. 11 at Houston Houston, Texas
Nov. 14 Idaho State Las Cruces, N.M.
Nov. 16 UTEP Las Cruces, N.M.
Nov. 21 Arizona Las Cruces, N.M.
Nov. 25-26 Aggie Hotel Encanto Thanksgiving Classic Las Cruces, N.M.
Nov. 25 NM State vs. Nicholls State Las Cruces, N.M.
Nov. 25 Southern Utah vs. North Dakota Las Cruces, N.M.
Nov. 26 NM State vs. Southern Utah/North Dakota Las Cruces, N.M.
Nov. 26 Nicholls State vs. Southern Utah/North Dakota Las Cruces, N.M.
Nov. 29 at UTEP El Paso, Texas
Dec. 4 at New Mexico Albuquerque, N.M.
Dec. 11 at Boise State Boise, Idaho
Dec. 19 UC Santa Barbara Las Cruces, N.M.
Dec. 21 at Utah Salt Lake City, Utah
Dec. 30 New Mexico Las Cruces, N.M.
Jan. 1 Shaw Las Cruces, N.M.
Jan. 4 at Missouri-Kansas City Kansas City, Mo.
Jan. 7 Boise State Las Cruces, N.M.
Jan. 12 Utah State * Las Cruces, N.M.
Jan. 14 Idaho * Las Cruces, N.M.
Jan. 19 at San Jose State * San Jose, Calif.
Jan. 21 at Hawai'i * Honolulu, Hawai'i
Jan. 28 Louisiana Tech * Las Cruces, N.M.
Feb. 2 Fresno State * Las Cruces, N.M.
Feb. 4 Nevada * Las Cruces, N.M.
Feb. 9 at Idaho * Moscow, Idaho
Feb. 11 at Utah State * Logan, Utah
Feb. 16 Hawai'i * Las Cruces, N.M.
Feb. 18 San Jose State * Las Cruces, N.M.
Feb. 25 at Louisiana Tech * Ruston, La.
Mar. 1 at Nevada * Reno, Nev.
Mar. 3 at Fresno State * Fresno, Calif.
Mar. 7-10 at WAC Tournament Las Vegas, Nev.
Mar. 17-Apr. 3 at NCAA Tournament TBD
* WAC game