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The 2021-22 schedule for the Eastern women’s basketball team was announced Thursday.
The Panthers will be attempting to make the OVC Tournament for the third-straight season.
There is one exhibition game on the schedule against Illinois Wesleyan on Nov. 3 in Lantz Arena before the regular season opener against Lindenwood on Nov. 9, also at home for the Panthers.
There are a total of 12 nonconference games scheduled for the Panthers this season, including a rather exotic road trip.
Eastern will be participating in the University of Hawai’i Tournament from Nov. 26 to Nov. 28 in Honolulu. Also competing in the tournament is Hawai’i, Gonzaga and Utah.
After getting back from the Pacific, the Panthers will head to Macomb to play in the Compass Tournament, hosted this season by Western Illinois.
Eastern hosted the tournament last season, which features the four Illinois schools named for the cardinal directions.
In last season’s tournament, Eastern lost 82-72 Northern and beat Western 88-74.
Eastern’s final nonconference game this season will be against Big Ten opponent Wisconsin.
The Panthers played the Badgers back in Nov. 2019, with Wisconsin winning 63-55.
Conference play will begin Dec. 29 when the Panthers play Morehead State on the road.
The Panthers’ final conference game is also noteworthy this season.
Austin Peay will come to Charleston Feb. 26, marking the return of former Panther Karle Pace to Lantz Arena.
Pace is a graduate student at Austin Peay, taking advantage of extra eligibility after starting at Eastern for four years. She ranks 11th in program history with 1,387 points.
Eastern had a conference record of 9-11. The OVC is two teams smaller this season than it was last season, with Eastern Kentucky and Jacksonville State leaving for the Atlantic Sun.
The OVC teams will all play each other twice this season, once at home and once on the road.
Eastern will be returning two All-OVC players, first team selection Abby Wahl and second team selection Lariah Washington. Wahl averaged 14.75 points per game and 7.4 rebounds last season, both leading the team and ranking fifth in the OVC.
Washington averaged 14 points per game, ranking eighth in the conference.
Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]