The defending Big South Conference champion Winthrop women’s basketball team will play a 29-game schedule in 2014-15 that includes 14 home contests, and is highlighted by a home date against Auburn and a visit to Knoxville to face the Tennessee Volunteers.
Kevin Cook’s Eagles, who return four starters and 10 players from last year’s record-setting team that finished 24-9, won the conference championship tournament and made the first NCAA tournament appearance in the program’s history, will open the season with two home games on Nov. 15 against Homecoming opponent Gallaudet at 1 p.m., followed by Furman on Nov. 17. Gallaudet, located in Washington, D.C., is the world’s only all-deaf college. Immediately prior to arriving at Winthrop in 2011 as an assistant coach, Cook spent four seasons as the head coach of Gallaudet, where he led his team to a 24-4 record during the 2010-11 season and was named the WBCA Region III Coach of the Year.
“Our schedule this season is very challenging,” said Cook, who is beginning his third season at Winthrop having led the Eagles to a 45-21 record and two postseason appearances in 2013 and 2014. “Everyone on the schedule will be a test for us and hopefully it will prepare us for the always tough Big South Conference schedule. Our young team that includes five freshmen and six sophomores will be exposed to top-level competition very quickly. It is a very ambitious schedule to say the least.”
Following the two home contests to begin the season, Winthrop will travel to Tennessee on Nov. 21 to take on the Vols for the first time since March 9, 1974 when the Eagles knocked off Hall of Fame Coach Pat Summit’s team 55-53 in the second round of the AIAW Tournament. Winthrop has a 2-1 record against the storied Vol program. Winthrop will also host another SEC foe in Auburn on Nov. 29 during Thanksgiving weekend as the two programs meet for the first time.
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After hosting Auburn, Winthrop will take on Campbell on Dec. 2 at home in the Big South Conference opener before heading to Ohio State on Dec. 7.
Winthrop will travel to Wichita, Kan., before Christmas to play in the Wichita State Classic. The Eagles will take on George Mason in the opener on Dec. 19 before facing the host Shockers on Dec. 20., Other non-conference foes include a road game at North Carolina Central (Nov. 25) and a home contest with Davidson (Dec. 13).
Big South Conference round-robin play will resume on Dec. 30 when Longwood comes to the Winthrop Coliseum. The Eagles will be looking to defend their tournament title when the Big South Championship Tournament is held in Conway for the third straight year at Coastal Carolina’s HTC Center, March 3-8.