Key women’s college basketball games this season

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Coquese Washington has No. 12 Penn State at its best ranking since the end of the 2004 season. Led by star guard Alex Bentley the Nittany Lions have high expectations for the season with four starters returning as well as Big Ten newcomer of the year Maggie Lucas. To win the conference title Penn State will have to get through defending champion Michigan State, which won its first outright title last season. Coach Suzy Merchant will need to find a replacement for Kalisha Keane if they want to repeat.

FEB. 11, FEB. 27:

Texas A&M-Baylor

Sadly, this will be the last time these two Texas rivals meet in the regular season as the Aggies head off to the SEC next season. Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said she won’t play Texas A&M anymore after the school leaves. The two teams played four times last season in thrilling games. Baylor won the first three, but Texas A&M won the final one in the NCAA regional final in front of 11,500 fans.

FEB. 24:

Miami-Duke

The ACC title should be on the line when these two meet in North Carolina. Miami has a talented veteran backcourt, while the Blue Devils have a budding young star in Chelsea Gray. The difference may be the play of Duke freshman Elizabeth Williams against transfer Pepper Wilson.

APRIL 3:

National Championship

Denver will host the Final Four this year, marking the first time that it will be in the Mountain time zone. Hopefully, the altitude won’t effect play.

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