Abbe Laurence of the University of Maine women's basketball team shoots a free throw during the Dec. 10 game at Providence College. Credit: Courtesy of Providence College Athletics

The University of Maine has announced its 2021-22 non-conference schedule for women’s basketball, beginning with the season opener on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at Nebraska.

The 11 games that precede the team’s America East schedule includes six home dates, including one contest at the Augusta Civic Center.

In addition to the matchup at Nebraska of the Big 10 Conference, UMaine’s non-conference schedule includes three games against Ivy League foes, three against members of the Colonial Athletic Association, two against Patriot League members and one game apiece against the Atlantic 10 and Big East conferences.

The opener at Nebraska will mark the second meeting between the Black Bears and Cornhuskers, who first met in 1987 with UMaine securing the victory.

Nebraska went 13-13 last winter and reached the second round of the Women’s NIT.

Coach Amy Vachon’s UMaine club, which finished 17-3 last season after advancing to the America East championship game, will face the Big East’s Providence College in its home opener at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Saturday, Nov. 13.

UMaine will be seeking its second straight victory over the Friars after a 62-48 road win last December in one of just three non-conference games played by the Black Bears during the abbreviated 2020-21 campaign.

That will be the first of two home games in three days for UMaine, which will host Delaware on Nov. 15.

UMaine holds an 18-6 lead in its series against Delaware, the reigning CAA regular-season champion.

That brief homestand will be followed by a four-game road swing featuring two games apiece against teams from the Ivy League and Patriot League.

That sojourn begins in the Ivy League at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, on Nov. 19, followed by back-to-back games at Patriot League entries Boston University on Nov. 21 and Army on Nov. 26 before returning to the Ivy League for a matchup at Princeton on Nov. 28.

UMaine is 1-2 against Yale over the years, 0-2 against Army and 1-0 against Princeton, while the Black Bears hold a 40-33 edge in their long-standing rivalry against Boston University, runner-up in the 2021 Patriot League tournament.

The Black Bears’ first meeting with Army since the 1983-84 season will mark a reunion of sorts with former UMaine guard Missy Traversi, now in her first season as head coach at West Point.

UMaine will conclude its non-conference schedule with four games back in the Pine Tree State, beginning against defending CAA tournament champion Drexel at the Cross Insurance Center on Dec. 4. The Black Bears own a 23-5 advantage against the Dragons in a series that began in 1985.

The Black Bears will host Rhode Island of the Atlantic 10 Conference at the Augusta Civic Center on Dec. 12 before returning to Bangor to face a third Ivy League opponent, Dartmouth, on Dec. 19.

UMaine defeated Rhode Island 61-47 at Kingston, Rhode Island, last December to take a 13-12 lead in that rivalry, while the Black Bears are 13-5 against Dartmouth since 1984.

UMaine’s non-conference schedule concludes with a home contest against another CAA foe, Northeastern, on Dec. 22. The Black Bears are 35-24 against the Huskies since their rivalry began in 1983.

Game times for the UMaine non-conference schedule have not yet been announced, nor has the 2021-22 America East women’s basketball schedule.

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...