The 2020-21 schedules for the Eastern men’s and women’s basketball teams were released last week. The season is scheduled to begin for each team on Nov. 25, and now we know who and where they will be playing on that date and beyond.
Focusing on the women’s team, they open the season at home with a game against UIC. This is the first of five non-conference games the Panthers were allowed to play this season.
Eastern played the Flames on the road last season, beating them 80-45 on Nov. 16.
The Panthers will then go on the road for two matchups with Big Ten opponents, playing Northwestern on Nov. 29 and Minnesota on Dec. 2.
Northwestern finished last season 26-4 and were ranked at No. 11 in the AP Top-25 poll when the season ended as well.
Minnesota was in 11th place in the Big Ten standings at the end of last season.
Following these two tough matchups, Eastern will return home to host the Compass Tournament on Dec. 4 and 5.
Eastern will play Northern Illinois on Dec. 4 and then either play Western Illinois or Southern Illinois the following day.
Then conference play will begin for the Panthers when they host Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Dec. 18.
Last season, Eastern finished fourth in the OVC with a conference record of 12-6 and overall record of 19-12.
The 2020-21 season will feature a slightly expanded conference schedule, with each team playing 20 conference games instead of the usual 18.
Eastern will play each team in the OVC twice except for Jacksonville State and Morehead State, who they play once each.
In addition to the news of the schedule being released, it was also announced that two Eastern players were named to the preseason All-OVC team.
Senior guard Karle Pace and freshman guard Lariah Washington were both named to the honorary squad after both being named first team All-OVC last season. Washington was also named the OVC Freshman of the Year last season.
There was also a preseason poll that was released in which Tennessee-Martin was selected as the favorite to win the conference. Belmont, Southeast Missouri and Tennessee Tech followed with Eastern being picked to finish fifth.
Tennessee-Martin’s Chelsea Perry was also voted the OVC Preseason Player of the Year entering her senior season.
Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]