Central Connecticut head coach Beryl Piper announced the 2008-09 women's basketball schedule this afternoon. The second-year head coach will lead the Blue Devils in 11 non-conference games and 18 Northeast Conference contests. They open the season with tournament play at the University of South Florida. The opening round game against the host Bulls on Saturday, Nov. 15 is one of three meetings with first-time opponents. Bryant, which will become a full-time member of the Northeast Conference in 2012, and Fordham round out that list. The home opener is slated for Thursday, Nov. 20. Maine will come to Detrick Gymnasium for a 7 p.m. tilt. Game dates and times are subject to change. Please continue to check the schedule page on CCSUBlueDevils.com for updates during the coming months.
2008-09 Women's Basketball Schedule
"We are happy to announce the complete schedule," Piper said. "Every game is big for us. In order to improve on last season, we have to use each game to prepare for the next. We're a young team, so we need to find an identity early in the season and win games prior to starting conference games. Ultimately, we feel the non-conference portion of the schedule is going to get is ready to compete in the Northeast Conference season."
CCSU will face either Harvard or Loyola (MD) in the second game of USF's invitational and then host Bryant on Tuesday, Nov. 25 following the home opener against Maine. The Blue Devils are then scheduled to take part in the URI Thanksgiving Classic for the second time in three years. They will face Rhode Island on Friday, Nov. 28 and Cornell on Saturday, Nov. 29. A home date with Western Michigan on Tuesday, Dec. 2 will serve as the final tune-up before Central Connecticut breaks for back-to-back NEC contests.
Mount St. Mary's will come to New Britain on Saturday, Dec. 6, and CCSU will head to Long Island on Thursday, Dec. 11.
"These are two vital games," Piper noted. "Facing two tough league opponents early in the season is going to be a task, so we will have to use the non-conference games to build momentum heading into these match-ups."
The early non-conference portion of the schedule ends with a home game against Colgate sandwiched between road games versus Fordham and Longwood. Another meeting with Bryant on Saturday, Feb. 14 is the final non-conference contest.
Central Connecticut will resume Northeast Conference play on Monday, Jan. 5 at Monmouth. The Blue Devils will also face the Hawks at home in the regular season finale on Monday, March 2. Other home and away series include meetings with Fairleigh Dickinson, Wagner, St. Francis (PA), Robert Morris, Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart and Mount St. Mary's. CCSU faces Long Island and St. Francis (NY) once apiece.
The Northeast Conference Tournament gets underway on Saturday, March 7. The quarterfinals and semifinals wil lbe held at Sacred Heart. The championship game, scheduled for Friday, March 15, will be held at the highest remaining seed's gym.
NOTES: Piper will honor her former coach, Dr. Brenda Reilly, again this season. A date has yet to be selected for the Second Annual Dr. Brenda Reilly Day. The men's basketball schedule will be released tomorrow.