Aug. 28, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. –
University of South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley announced today a 28-game schedule for 2009-10 that includes as many as 22 games against teams that participated in the 2009 postseason. The Gamecock gauntlet for 2009-10 features seven non-conference opponents that made the 2009 postseason, in addition to 16 SEC games, 11 of which will be against teams that participated in last season’s NCAA Tournament.
In Staley’s second season at the helm, the three-time Olympic gold medalist has built a schedule that mixes her Northern roots and the advantages of her new Southern home. The Gamecocks will close out their non-conference slate in Staley’s hometown of Philadelphia for a tournament at the end of the December after battling four nearby Atlantic Coast Conference opponents and NCAA Tournament participant Charlotte early in the schedule.
|Boston Univ.||25-8||WNIT (2nd Rd)||—||87|
|Charlotte||23-9||NCAA (1st Rd)||—||39|
|N. Carolina||28-7||NCAA (2nd Rd)||17/17||11|
|Notre Dame||22-9||NCAA (1st Rd)||—||15|
|Oklahoma||32-5||NCAA (Final 4)||4/4||2|
|San Diego St||24-8||NCAA (2nd Rd)||—||38|
|Wake Forest||19-12||WNIT (1st Rd)||—||64|
|Arkansas||18-14||WNIT (2nd Rd)||—||76|
|Auburn||30-4||NCAA (2nd Rd)||13/13||8|
|Florida||24-8||NCAA (2nd Rd)||23/23||22|
|Georgia||18-14||NCAA (1st Rd)||—||53|
|Kentucky||16-16||WNIT (2nd Rd)||—||79|
|LSU||19-11||NCAA (2nd Rd)||—||20|
|Ole Miss||18-15||WNIT (2nd Rd)||—||90|
|Miss. St.||23-10||NCAA (2nd Rd)||—||41|
|Tennessee||22-11||NCAA (1st Rd)||—||10|
|Vanderbilt||26-9||NCAA (Sweet 16)||8/8||26|
“We are excited about this schedule and about getting the team prepared for that journey,” Staley said. “Every game on the schedule will test our team and gives us an opportunity to face teams playing every different style imaginable. Our early road games will help us get ready for the demanding SEC schedule. Our SEC home games – LSU, Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia – will be a huge draw for our fans to put us on the top of next year’s attendance-increase rankings.”
In addition to the 10 SEC teams that advanced to the 2009 postseason, including seven NCAA Tournament participants, South Carolina could face up to six non-conference teams that posted 20 or more wins last season. Five teams on the Gamecocks’ docket finished last season ranked in the top 25, headlined by NCAA Final Four participant Oklahoma and SEC Tournament champ Vanderbilt.
After trips to Charlotte (Nov. 16) and Clemson (Nov. 19) open the 2009-10 slate, the Gamecocks make their Colonial Life Arena debut on Sun., Nov. 22, against Penn State. A Thanksgiving trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam will pit South Carolina against powerhouses Oklahoma, Notre Dame and San Diego State – all NCAA Tournament participants and 20-game winners in 2008-09.
Back in the friendly confines of Colonial Life Arena, South Carolina opens a three-game homestand against High Point (Dec. 2). Following a break for exams, the Gamecocks host NC State (Dec. 13) and Wake Forest (Dec. 17) before closing the three-game ACC run in a neutral-site game against North Carolina in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Staley takes her team back to her old stomping grounds just before the New Year as the Gamecocks will play in the Saint Joseph’s Tournament Dec. 28 and 29. In addition to the host Hawks, the tournament field includes Brown and Boston University, which advanced to the WNIT second round with a 25-8 record last season.
In SEC action, South Carolina will play home-and-home series with five teams – Auburn, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU and Tennessee. The Gamecocks will also host Arkansas, Mississippi and Mississippi State. The 2010 SEC Tournament will be held in nearby Duluth, Ga., at The Arena at Gwinnett Center.
Season tickets are on sale now, starting at $50 for general admission or $100 for the Family Four pack, which is less than $2 per game. Tickets are available by calling 1-800-4SC-FANS or at www.GamecocksOnline.com.