Winthrop women's basketball coach Bud Childers announced a 29-game schedule for the 2010-2011 season that will feature two tournaments and 17 home games.
The 17 home games are the most the Lady Eagles have ever had in a single season in 27 seasons and is highlighted by the Winthrop Classic in early November and non-conference games against Davidson, Colorado State and Longwood. Winthrop hosted 17 games in 1981-82. The most games hosted by Winthrop since making the transition to the NCAA Division I level was 15 (three times).
"With such a young team once again we really tried to increase the number of home games and limit excessive travel," said Childers, who is in his seventh season as coach of the Lady Eagles. "I think we were able to pull it off pretty well. We're excited to have the return of the Adidas/Hilton Garden Inn Classic to open the season here at home. Belmont, Central Michigan, and North Carolina A&T will bring some exciting ball clubs to the classic. December presents some tough road challenges with games at VCU, Virginia Tech, North Carolina Central, and the Stetson Tournament (vs. Maine & Youngstown State.) Four December home games begin with regional rival Davidson and conclude with a holiday battle against Mountain West member Colorado State's visit to the coliseum."
Season tickets are currently on sale at the Winthrop Ticket Office located in the Winthrop Coliseum. You may purchase single game and season tickets online at winthropeagles.com. Season tickets are $45, while single ticket game prices are $5 for an adult, $3 for non-Winthrop student/senior citizen and $2 each for a group of 10 or more.
The Lady Eagles will host North Greenville in an exhibition to start the season on Nov. 6 and will officially open up with the Winthrop Classic from Nov. 12-14. The Classic will feature Central Michigan, Belmont and North Carolina A&T in addition to the Lady Eagles. Winthrop will open up the tournament against Belmont on Nov. 12. North Carolina A&T won 23 games last season and lost to Miami in the third round of the WNIT.
Winthrop will travel to Richmond, Va., on Nov. 17 to take on a Virginia Commonwealth squad that won 22 games in 2009-2010 and advanced to the third round of the WNIT. The team will also head to Blacksburg, Va., on Dec. 5 to take on Atlantic Coast Conference foe Virginia Tech for just the third time in school history. The last meeting was Dec. 6, 1994.
Right before Christmas, Winthrop will head to DeLand, Fla., for the Stetson Hatter Holiday Classic. Winthrop is schedule to face Maine on Dec. 20 and Youngstown State on Dec. 21. It will be the first time the Lady Eagles have played either school.
Returning from break, the Lady Eagles will face Southern Wesleyan (Dec. 28) and Colorado State (Dec. 30) at home before opening Big South Conference action on Jan. 8 against Charleston Southern at home.
"We begin Big South play with six of our first eight games here at the coliseum which hopefully will give our youngsters a chance to get off to a good start," said Childers. "However, we close league play with six of the final eight on the road so it all evens out in the end. The Big South tournament returns to High Point for the third straight year so we hope to position ourselves well in the standings by then so we can secure a favorable seed."
The conference opener against CSU will be in the middle of a six-game home stand and mark nine of 11 at home. Following CSU, Winthrop will host Gardner-Webb (Jan. 10), Radford (Jan. 15) and Presbyterian College (Jan. 17).
After the favorable home schedule in January, the Lady Eagles will hit the road for four of their seven games on the road, including four in a row at Coastal Carolina (Feb. 12), Liberty (Feb. 14), PC (Feb. 19) and Radford (Feb. 21).
The Big South Conference tournament will once again be held at High Point in the Millis Center from March 11-13.
Childers stated that the team is excited and will be ready to take on the challenges of this year's schedule.
"A school record 17 home games (including the exhibition game vs. North Greenville); two regular season tournaments; non-conference games vs. teams from the ACC, Colonial, Mountain West, Mid-American, American East, Horizon, Southern, Atlantic Sun, MEAC conferences; and the always tough round robin Big South action will test our Lady Eagles every night out."
Winthrop returns three starters from last year's team, with two of the three juniors (Kaitlyn Rubino and TaQuoia Hammick) along with sophomore Mary Hathaway.
The team will be a very young squad with five freshmen, a redshirt freshman, three sophomores, two juniors, a redshirt junior and two seniors. Most of the playing experience lies in the younger players and the freshmen are expected to make an impact.