Coming off one of its most successful seasons in program history, the James Madison women’s basketball team plans to keep pushing forward with an imposing non-conference slate on deck for the 2014-15 season.
“We were able to come up with a schedule that we were very happy with and it’s one that will challenge our kids,” Head Coach Kenny Brooks stated. “It will give us a chance to get national recognition while at the same time reward our loyal fans with some quality opponents coming into the Convocation Center. It’s a very challenging schedule and I’m very happy with it.”
The Dukes open the year hosting UCLA on Nov. 14 at 1 p.m. They hold a 3-0 all-time record against the Bruins, including a 77-67 win in 2013-14 in the quarterfinal round of the Gulf Coast Showcase. UCLA welcomes back several key players from injury as well as No. 1 recruiting class in the nation according to espnW HoopGurlz.
St. Bonaventure makes an appearance at the JMU Convocation Center on Nov. 16 for opening weekend. JMU heads to American on Nov. 20 before returning home to take on Pittsburgh on Nov. 23 in its final home game before Thanksgiving.
Beginning on Nov. 28, JMU faces the first of three 2014 NCAA tournament teams this season when the Dukes take on Maryland on the first day of the San Juan Shootout in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Terrapins advanced to the Final Four last season out of the Louisville Regional. JMU caps the trip with Houston on Nov. 29.
“To be able to get these quality opponents on a neutral floor is very big for our program,” Brooks said. “You don’t know the outcome, but you do know it’s going to prepare you for the CAA schedule.”
JMU hosts Richmond on Dec. 3 for the final game before a break for exams. Coming out of exam week, JMU travels to Ohio for a matchup in Athens on Dec. 15.
Hampton, a 12 seed in the 2014 NCAA tournament, visits JMU on Dec. 20 to close out the Dukes’ home portion of the non-conference slate, and the Dukes hit the road to face Vanderbilt on Dec. 29 to complete the non-conference schedule. In 2013, Vanderbilt barely edged JMU 89-85 in overtime at the JMU Convocation Center.
In 2013-14, the CAA champion Dukes tied a school record with 29 wins and advanced to the postseason for the ninth consecutive season. JMU won its first NCAA tournament game since 1991 with a 72-63 victory over No. 6 Gonzaga in the round of 64.
JMU returns senior forward Toia Giggetts (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor) and junior guard Precious Hall (Tallahassee, Fla./Maclay School), both 2014 All-CAA Second Team honorees, as well as redshirt junior guard Jazmon Gwathmey(Bealeton, Va./Liberty H.S.), a 2014 CAA All-Defensive Team honoree.
Fans will have an opportunity to see the Dukes once prior to the official start of play as they host Lenior-Rhyne in an exhibition game on Sunday, Nov. 9. Tip-off at the JMU Convocation Center is slated for 2 p.m.
Renewals and new sales for season tickets are available now and individual game tickets will be on sale Nov. 1 at JMUSports.com/tickets. Season ticket packages include all regular season home games and a game-day parking pass. More information on women’s basketball tickets can be found HERE or by calling the Athletic Ticket Office at 540-568-3853.
Games by Conference:
AAC – 1: Houston (N-Nov. 29)
ACC – 1: Pittsburgh (H-Nov. 23)
A10 – 2: St. Bonaventure (H-No. 16), Richmond (H-Dec. 3)
B1G – 1: Maryland (N-Nov. 28)
MAC – 1: Ohio (A-Dec. 15)
MEAC – 1: Hampton (H-Dec. 20)
PAC-12 – 1: UCLA (H-Nov. 14)
Patriot – 1: American (A-Nov. 20)
SEC – 1: Vanderbilt (A-Dec. 29)