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Iowa Basketball: Hawkeye women open 18-game conference slate at home

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The Iowa women’s basketball team begins its conference season against three-time defending league champion and will travel to Big Ten Conference newcomers Maryland and Rutgers in the only meetings of the season.

The addition of two new programs means each Big Ten team will play 18 games and the start of that slate kicks off Dec. 28 against Penn State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena as the Big Ten Conference announced its conference women’s basketball schedule Thursday.

Each league school will play five opponents in a home-and-home series, while also playing four schools once at home and four others once on the road.

Iowa will play Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State and Wisconsin twice, host Indiana, Michigan, Penn State and Purdue and travel to Illinois, Maryland, Michigan State and Rutgers in single games.

The Hawkeyes’ home schedule includes four weekend games, four midweek dates and one Monday matchup. Iowa will play five of its first eight conference games at home but six of the next eight will be on the road.

The final two Big Ten games of the season will be inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The annual Big Ten Conference Tournament will be played March 4-8 at Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

Start times and television information will be released at a later date.

The Hawkeyes return 10 letterwinners from a team that went 27-9 and graduated just one starter. Iowa lost Louisville in the second round of its seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament.

The 2014-15 season kicks off Nov. 14 against USC Upstate at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes also play Northern Iowa, Iowa State and Colorado at home and will travel to instate rival Drake as well as Louisville in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Neutral site games include Arkansas and Gonzaga in Las Vegas, Nev.

Complete Iowa women’s basketball schedule: http://bit.ly/14XP1Kk

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