Skylights fans will see plenty of hoops in Havre
George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor firstname.lastname@example.org
It seems like only yesterday that the Montana State University-Northern women’s basketball team was making its fantastic run through the NAIA national tournament in Jackson, Tenn. And, with the announcement of the 2006-2007 MSU-N schedule recently, it won’t be long until the Skylights are back on the hardwood. Despite losing several key players, including the Frontier Conference’s best backcourt tandem in Jaci Heny and Camille Gardner, the Skylights will be among the elite teams in the Frontier Conference this season. One of the primary reasons Northern should contend for a conference title in the upcoming season, as well as another bid to the NAIA’s big dance could be a favorable home schedule. The Skylights’ schedule features a long homestand during the nonconference season, two tournaments at the MSU-N Fieldhouse and a three-game homestand to close out the regular season in February. The Skylights will play four games at home in October, including the Coaches vs Cancer/Super 8 Classic. That tournament will feature the University of Lethbridge, Northwest University and Rocky Mountain College. Northern will also open the month of November with back-to-back home games against Dak-10 powerhouses Dickinson State University and Minot State. The Skylights first road game of the year isn’t until Nov. 12 when they travel to DSU, a trip they will make twice this season.
MSU-N will also play host to another tournament in December, the AmericInn Classic. The tournament will be held in Havre on Dec. 1-2, and it will feature Kings University and Augustana College, as well as NAIA and Frontier Conference stalwart Carroll College. After the AmericInn Classic, the Skylights won’t see the friendly confines of Havre again until Jan. 13. The Skylights will embark on a seven-game road trip that includes, perhaps their toughest nonconference game of the season, when they travel to Division II MSU-Billings on Dec. 6. Northern will also open the Frontier Conference season with five of its first seven games on the road, including its conference opener at RMC on Jan. 4. The Skylights finish their regular season with five of their final seven games at home, including a three-game stretch leading up to the Frontier Conference Tournament in Butte. That homestand against the University of Great Falls, UM-Western and Montana Tech could prove to be a critical point the Skylights’ season. The Skylights begin their season on Oct. 12 with their annual Alumni Game. Northern will also host the University of Calgary on Oct. 14 and the University of Regina on Oct. 15.