Women's Hoops Announces 2009-10 Schedule
Sept. 30, 2009
GREENVILLE, N.C. - A potential matchup with 2009 WNIT champion South Florida, eight games against last season's postseason qualifiers, 14 home contests and the Eighth-Annual Lady Pirate Invitational help to constitute the East Carolina women's basketball team's 2009-10 schedule, as released by school officials Wednesday.
"I am excited about the schedule we have put together this season," head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener stated. "We have a great mixture of home and away contests and a solid non-conference slate that will definitely prepare us for the rigors of Conference USA, which should be as strong as it has been since the realignment."
The season commences with a pair of home games (Nov. 13 and 15) against defending conference champions, as Charlotte (Atlantic 10) and Western Carolina (Southern) each won their league tournaments for the first time in program history in 2009. A visit from in-state rival UNC Wilmington is then followed by ECU's first road contest of the season at American University, a 2009 WNIT participant, Nov. 22.
Returning home Nov. 29, the squad will host the Lady Pirate Invitational, welcoming Eastern Kentucky, Bethune-Cookman and Towson to Minges Coliseum. Although East Carolina does not face the Colonels, EKU head coach Chrissy Roberts, a former Lady Pirate assistant coach, returns to Greenville.
Yet another NCAA Tournament participant awaits ECU on Dec. 2, as Virginia Commonwealth makes the return trip to Greenville after the Lady Pirates visited Richmond a season ago. That contest marks the last home date for East Carolina for more than a month.
The Lady Pirates kick off a six-game road trip, beginning Dec. 5 at Gardner-Webb and continuing at Hampton Dec. 12. It's off to Tampa next, as ECU participates in the USF Shootout, hosted by South Florida. The Lady Pirates square off against Houston-Baptist in the first game, Dec. 19, and will take on either North Carolina Central or the Bulls the next day.
A trip up north to the Bronx closes out non-conference play for East Carolina, as it will face UMBC and Binghamton at the Fordham Holiday Classic.
The quest for the Lady Pirates' first-ever Conference USA regular season title begins in Minges Coliseum Jan. 4, as ECU welcomes Marshall in the league opener for both teams. In addition to the Herd, the Lady Pirates also host Southern Miss, 2009 C-USA Tournament champion UCF, UAB, Memphis, UTEP, Tulane and Tulsa while traveling to Houston, Rice and SMU before making the return trip to the other East Division schools.
The 2010 Conference USA Women's Basketball Championship is slated for March 8-12 at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla. For the past 14 seasons, the league has awarded the championship trophy to nine different schools, including East Carolina in 2007. The winner of the event earns the conference's automatic berth to the 2010 NCAA Championship.