Nebraska Kearney finished the 2017-18 season in fifth place, while Northwest Missouri State ended the year in 13th place in the MIAA.

    The University of Minnesota Crookston women’s basketball team is set to officially get the 2018-19 campaign under way Fri., Nov. 9 and Sat., Nov. 10 as they head to Wayne, Neb., for a pair of neutral site games at Rice Auditorium. The Golden Eagles will take on University of Nebraska Kearney Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Northwest Missouri State University at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

    The regular-season opening weekend will pit Minnesota Crookston against a pair of challenging opponents from the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA). Nebraska Kearney finished the 2017-18 season in fifth place, while Northwest Missouri State ended the year in 13th place in the MIAA.

Minnesota Crookston Preview
Projected Starters
Sr. G 3 Caitlin Michaelis, 5-8, Marshfield, Wis.
Jr. G 32 Paige Weakley, 5-9, Kearney, Mo.
So. G 12 Abby Guidinger, 5-10, Waukesha, Wis.
Fr. F 22 Mary Burke, 5-11, Virginia, Minn.
R-Sr. F 15 Isieoma Odor, 6-0, Bloomington, Minn.

    Minnesota Crookston is coming off an 8-19 mark during the 2017-18 season as they missed the NSIC Tournament quarterfinals at the Sanford Pentagon for first time since the 2013-14 slate. The Golden Eagles had previously made three-consecutive appearances in Sioux Falls, S.D.

    Minnesota Crookston had a pair of strong showings in exhibition tilts as they took on University of North Dakota and University of Northwestern (Minn.). Redshirt senior Isieoma Odor (R-Sr., F/C, Bloomington, Minn.) looks poised for a big season after averaging 17.5 points and eight rebounds in the exhibition tilts. Abby Guidinger (So., G/F, Waukesha, Wis.) notched 14 points per game for the Golden Eagles. Paige Weakley (Jr., G/F, Kearney, Mo.) also had a pair of good games in exhibition play as she tallied 11 points per game, while newcomer Kylie Post (Fr., G, Corcoran, Minn.) notched nine points, four rebounds and two assists per game. Caitlin Michaelis (Sr., G, Marshfield, Wis.) will also look to have a strong season for the Golden Eagles after notching 10.9 points per game and shooting 40.7 percent from beyond the arc as a junior.

    The Golden Eagles averaged 63.8 points per game in 2017-18 and allowed 69.5 points per contest to their foes. Minnesota Crookston shot 30.2 percent from beyond the arc, 39.1 percent from the field, and 78.4 percent from the charity stripe. They were out-rebounded last year 40.4 to 33.3 by their foes.

    The Lopers went 21-7 and 13-6 in the MIAA during the 2017-18 slate. Nebraska Kearney played a pair of exhibition against daunting NCAA Division I opponents University of Nebraska and Creighton University.

    Against Creighton, the Lopers were led by Adreon Bell with 10 points and four assists. Jaymie Bermbeck added eight points, while Brooke Carlson came off the bench for nine points and six boards. In the tilt against Nebraska, Cierra Dvorak paced Nebraska Kearney with 10 points, while Carlson came off the bench for eight points and five boards.

    The Lopers return two starters from last season in Kelsey Sanger and Bernbeck. Sanger averaged 7.1 points and 3.7 rebounds last season and shot 37.5 percent from beyond the arc. Bernbeck notched 4.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per contest. In addition, Bell was an important bench player with 3.3 points per game in 11.8 minutes per contest.
    Nebraska Kearney averaged 72.9 points per game and allowed 69.8 points per contest last season. The Lopers shot 43.1 percent from the field and at a 36.1 percent clip from behind the three-point line. Nebraska Kearney out-rebounded their foes 39.0 to 37.3 last season.

    Northwest Missouri State is in their first season under Head Coach Austin Meyer. The Bearcats went 5-22 overall and 4-15 in the MIAA during the 2017-18 season. Northwest Missouri State returns four starters from last season. Jaelyn Haggard leads all returners after averaging 13.0 points per game last season. She was a 36.1 percent shooter from beyond the arc during the 2017-18 slate. Northwest Missouri State also brings back Mallory McAndrews, who notched 7.5 points per contest and shot 38.1 percent from beyond the arc. In the post, Kaylani Maiava returns after tallying 5.6 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest, while Mallory McConkey notched 4.5 points per game.

    Kylie Coleman, Maria Dentlinger, Mia Stillman, and Zoie Hayward all return after seeing substantial time off the bench. Look for two newcomers to make instant impacts for the Bearcats in Erika Schlosser and Kendey Eaton. Schlosser is a Division I transfer from Fairfield University, who tallied 3.0 points per game last season while playing 11.3 minutes per game and making two starts. Eaton is a junior college transfer from North Central Missouri College, who tallied 18 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game.

    The Bearcats shot 37.8 percent from the field last season and 33.9 percent from beyond the arc. Northwest Missouri State was out-rebounded by an average of 37.8 to 33.6 last season.