The Southern women’s basketball team normally plays a brutal non-conference schedule, and this year was no different.
What has changed is the Legacy Series, an educational and basketball planning partnership between the Southwestern Athletic Conference and the Pac-12. The series will feature annual home-and-home games between the two conferences and will make its first swoop to Baton Rouge on Monday when Oregon Southern pays a visit.
Tip-off for the game is at 6:30 p.m. at the FG Clark Activity Center.
Southern (0-2) opened its season last week with road losses at fourth-ranked Iowa state and No. 8 Iowa state. Amani McWain led Southern with eight points in an 87-34 loss to the Hawkeyes while Aleighyah Fontenot had 18 points as the Cyclones won 79-55.
Oregon (2-0), who defeated Seattle 90-47 on Sunday, was selected for second place in the Pac-12. The Ducks consist of three players — guards Te-Hina Paopao and Endyia Rogers, and forward Sedona Prince — who were named to Pac-12’s preseason All-Conference Team.
Monday’s game will be televised on ESPN-plus and the Pac-12 network.
“It’s been a while since they’ve televised a game here,” said Southern’s Carlos Funchess, now in his fourth season as head coach and 17th overall. “It may have happened seven or eight years ago when we played Grambling, but it’s been a minute.”
The Legacy Series was announced last September as the first pact of its kind between a Power Five conference and an HBCU league. In a press release, the Pac-12 described the deal as one designed to encourage competition and promote education on the issues of anti-racism and social justice.
“I think it’s a great learning opportunity for our team and coaching staff to learn about the history of HBCUs and Southern University in particular,” said Oregon coach Kelly Graves. “I know our players are really looking forward to it. I think they jumped into what I think is a great initiative between two great conferences.”
In addition to the game, planned activities include a post-game meal shared by the teams. Also of interest to the Ducks, Graves said his players were hoping to meet members of Southern’s band, the Human Jukebox, during their stay.
Before heading back to Oregon, the Ducks make a stop in Montgomery, Alabama. There, the team will tour the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum, which offers an insight into the history of the United States with a focus on the legacy of slavery.
“I’m thrilled myself,” said Graves, who will be making his second trip to Baton Rouge. In 1999, his St. Mary’s team lost 61-57 to Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA West Regional at LSU’s Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Southern will visit Eugene, Oregon for a return game with the Ducks next season.