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Emily Conroe started 27 games as a freshman for Air Force in 2017-18. (PHOTO FROM AIR FORCE ATHLETICS/ARNIE SPENCER)

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Air Force women’s basketball to host Navy on Dec. 7; Army also on schedule

One particular date on the Air Force women’s basketball schedule should be easy to remember.

The Falcons will host Navy on Dec. 7, marking the 77th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor with a service academy game at Clune Arena.

Chris Gobrecht’s team will also play at West Point according to the schedule released Thursday, marking the third straight year the three service academies will play each other in women’s basketball – something the men have yet to figure out, for some reason (though Air Force will play Army for the eighth consecutive season on the men’s side).

Navy has gone 4-0 over the past two years, while Air Force has been swept in its four. But Gobrecht’s team has made a habit of putting an end to such marks of futility, so make no assumptions about anything on the 2018-19 slate.

The one certainty is that the Falcons will be well-tested before they return to Mountain West play – where they broke through with four wins in five games down the stretch, including a first-round win over Utah State in the conference tournament.

The nonconference schedule is highlighted by a Dec. 20 trip to Oregon, which went 33-5 last year and finished fifth in the final coaches’ poll after being eliminated by eventual champion Notre Dame one game shy of the Final Four. NCAA Tournament teams Northern Colorado (at home on Nov. 28) and Minnesota (on the road, Dec. 2) are also on the schedule.

Air Force, which started Gobrecht’s third season 0-17 before closing 6-8, return a formidable pair in sophomores Kaelin Immel and Emily Conroe. Immel was the Mountain West Freshman of the Year after averaging 15.1 points per game. Conroe scored 12.1 ppg in conference play, hitting a team-high 34.6 percent from 3-point range. Conroe’s season, which included a spot on the All-MW Freshman Team, would have been the most prolific in terms of scoring for a Falcons freshman in the team’s Division I era were it not for Immel’s record-breaking season.

Immel is an Oregon native, so a two-game swing through the Beaver State in December to face Portland and Oregon will represent a return home.

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