Maine announces 2017-18 women’s basketball schedule

ELLSWORTH — The University of Maine women’s basketball team announced its nonconference schedule for the 2017-18 season Monday morning.

Maine will face Tulane as part of a season-opening tournament Nov. 10 and will play either Dayton or Harvard the following day. On Nov. 14 and 16, the Black Bears will face Bryant and Maine-Fort Kent, respectively, at Bangor’s Cross Insurance Center. After a Nov. 24-26 tournament with Miami, Maryland and Kennesaw State in Miami, the team finishes the month Nov. 30 on the road against Toledo.

Maine won’t play a nonconference game at Alfond Arena in December but will face Maine Maritime Academy on Dec. 5 at the Cross Insurance Center. Its road contests are Dec. 3 against Ohio State, Dec. 9 against Dartmouth, Dec. 17 against Mississippi State, Dec. 19 against Duke and Dec. 28 against Boston College.

Of Maine’s potential opponents, five teams — Miami, Maryland, Ohio State, Mississippi State and Duke — finished the year ranked in the Associated Press Top 25.

“This upcoming season will challenge us with one of the toughest nonconference schedules we have played,” interim head coach Amy Vachon said in a statement. “We continue to strive to be great, and in order to do that, we believe we have to play the best. We are excited for the opportunities to test our young team early on and believe these games will prepare us well for America East play.”

This will be the first full season at the helm for Vachon, who took control of the team Jan. 6 after Richard Barron took an extended medical leave. She was named head coach for the entire 2017-18 season April 5. Maine has lost the America East title game two years in a row.