The Drake women open the basketball season tonight at the North Carolina State tournament. The Bulldogs have an experienced line-up back from last years 23-7 team that advanced to the N-C-A-A tournament and coach Lisa Stone says they need a challenging non-conference slate.Stone says they have sought a tough schedule in hopes of improving their R-P-I which becomes a big factor in seeding for the N-C-A-A tournament.Drake plays Alabama-Birmingham in the opening round and Stone says it will be a challenge.