SPORTS

Iowa women's basketball opens Big Ten season Dec. 28 at Illinois

Hawkeyes coming off 19-14, WNIT season

Iowa center Megan Gustafson (10) scores past Illinois guard Sarah Hartwell (0) in a NCAA women's basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)
Iowa center Megan Gustafson (10) scores past Illinois guard Sarah Hartwell (0) in a NCAA women's basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa women’s basketball team will open the Big Ten season Dec. 28 at Illinois. The conference released the composite schedule Monday.

Iowa was 19-14 last season, finishing in a ninth-place tie in the league at 8-10. The Hawkeyes lost to Ball State in the first round of the WNIT and returns four starters — Ally Disterhoft, Tania Davis, Chase Coley and Megan Gustafson.

The first home Big Ten game is Dec. 31, against Nebraska.

Iowa faces two-time defending Big Ten champion Maryland twice — away on Jan. 14, and at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Jan. 29.

In other news, the university announced Monday that Rob Brooks and Jamie Cavey Lang will lead the 2016-17 women’s basketball broadcast team.

Brooks has been Iowa football’s sideline announcer since 2004. He succeeds Brent Balbinot, who will announce for the football and men’s basketball programs at Toledo.

Lang lettered at Iowa from 2002 through 2005, finishing her career with with 1,265 points and 506 rebounds. She was a two-time All-Big Ten selection, earned her master’s degree in higher education from Iowa and is currently a career advisor at the university.

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA 2016-17 WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE

Sunday, Nov. 6 — Lewis (Exh.)

Friday, Nov. 11 — Oral Roberts

Sunday, Nov. 13 — Hampton

Wednesday, Nov. 16 — at North Dakota

Saturday, Nov. 19 — Massachusetts (Hawkeye Challenge)

Sunday, Nov. 20 — Montana/South Dakota State (Hawkeye Challenge)

Thursday, Nov. 24 — vs. UCLA (Cancun Challenge)

Friday, Nov. 25 — vs. James Madison (Cancun Challenge)

Wednesday, Nov. 30 — Notre Dame (Big Ten/ACC Challenge)

Sunday, Dec. 4 — Northern Iowa

Wednesday, Dec. 7 — Iowa State

Friday, Dec. 9 — Robert Morris

Sunday, Dec. 18 — at Drake

Tuesday, Dec. 20 — Kent State

Wednesday, Dec. 28 — at Illinois

Saturday, Dec. 31 — Nebraska

Tuesday, Jan. 3 — at Penn State

Wednesday, Jan. 11 — Illinois

Saturday, Jan. 14 — Maryland

Tuesday, Jan. 17 — at Rutgers

Saturday, Jan. 21 — Minnesota

Sunday, Jan. 29 — at Maryland

Thursday, Feb. 2 — Rutgers

Sunday, Feb. 5 — at Michigan

Thursday, Feb. 9 — Michigan State

Sunday, Feb. 12 — at Ohio State

Thursday, Feb. 16 — Northwestern

Sunday, Feb. 19 — at Purdue

Wednesday, Feb. 22 — at Indiana

Sunday, Feb. 26 — Wisconsin

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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