JMU women open at UVa.

The James Madison women’s basketball schedule for the 2012-13 season includes a season-opener against Virginia and a trip to Mexico for the Cancun Challenge.

The Dukes will begin the season on Nov. 9 in Charlottesville, Va., against the Cavaliers in a re-match from last year’s Women’s National Invitation Tournament quarterfinals.  JMU defeated Virginia 68-59 en route to a berth in the 2012 WNIT finals.  Virginia finished the 2011-12 season with a 25-11 record, which was the most wins by the program since going 25-9 in 1999-00.

JMU, which finished last season with school-record 29 wins and a 29-8 record, will also travel to Cancun, Mexico, for the Cancun Challenge in a Thanksgiving week tournament.  The Dukes will first face off with Wisconsin-Green Bay, a team that won its 14th-consecutive Horizon League regular-season championship and 11th Horizon League tournament championship in 2012.  The Phoenix lost to the number two-seeded Kentucky Wildcats in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Following their opening game against the Phoenix, the Dukes will take on Minnesota on Nov. 25.  The Gophers won the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI) championship over Northern Iowa in 2012.  A Nov. 26 game against Wichita State will finish up tournament play in the Cancun Challenge. The Dukes will return home to host in-state rival Richmond on Dec. 2.

Madison will host two reigning regular-season conference champions at the Convocation Center this season.  Liberty, the 13-time Big South regular-season champion and defending Big South tournament champion, will travel to Harrisonburg for a Dec. 4 game.  American, the 2012 Patriot League champion, will visit on Dec. 22.

The Dukes are slated for just one true road game during the non-conference portion of their season.  They will visit Duquesne for a Sunday afternoon game on Dec. 16.

Four more schools will travel to Harrisonburg to round out the non-conference schedule.  Prior to the Cancun Challenge, Quinnipiac and Murray State will visit on Nov. 11 and Nov. 15, respectively.  Maine will head south to the Convocation Center on Dec. 28, and Georgia Southern will travel north for a New Year’s Eve bout.

JMU will begin its Colonial Athletic Association portion of the schedule on Jan. 6 at UNCW in Wilmington, N.C.  The Dukes will play 18 conference contests during the 2012-13 regular season.

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