Women?s Basketball Releases 2007-2008 Schedule
STATESBORO, Ga. Georgia Southern women’s basketball announced the 2007-2008 schedule, Tuesday, which features three opponents from last year’s NCAA Tournament, and two from the 2007 Women’s National Invitational Tournament.
The Lady Eagles, led by 12th-year head coach Rusty Cram, will face a tough non-conference and conference schedule alike, clashing with Georgia, Georgia Tech and reigning Southern Conference Tournament champion Chattanooga each having advanced to the NCAA tournament last year. Additionally, GSU will battle a pair of conference foes that competed in the 2007 WNIT Western Carolina and Davidson.
“We set ourselves up again to face some of the best in the nation to get us ready for conference play,” said Cram.
The Lady Eagles will open the 2007-2008 campaign with a three-game road trip, facing Jacksonville (Nov. 9), Stetson (Nov. 11) and Georgia (Nov. 13).
“As a coach, your first game or two is when you are most anxious because you’re worried about getting off the ground early,” said Cram. “Jacksonville has everybody returning; they’ll be quick. Stetson has a good amount of their players back.”
After the rematch of last year’s home thriller versus Georgia, who finished ranked No. 13 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll, the Lady Eagles will return home to Hanner Fieldhouse to entertain Jacksonville State (Nov. 20).
GSU will then travel to the Lone Star State’ to play in the UT San Antonio Classic. The Lady Eagles will first face Southeastern Conference foe Arkansas (Nov. 23) before taking on the tournament host Roadrunners the next day.
It’s back home to Statesboro for a two-game homestand. GSU will open up SoCon action hosting Davidson (Nov. 29) before facing USC Upstate (Dec. 1).
Georgia Tech will entertain the Lady Eagles (Dec. 9) in Atlanta before GSU returns home versus Appalachian State (Dec. 16) and Presbyterian (Dec. 20).
After the Christmas break, the Lady Eagles will travel to Richmond, Va. to compete in the VCU Tournament (Dec. 27-28) featuring the tournament host Rams, with Boston University and Morgan State.
“That’s a pretty challenging schedule right off the bat two SEC teams and an ACC team,” said Cram. “If you’re playing strong teams, especially early on in the season, it just makes you better,” said Cram. “If you go into those games with the right attitude and come out of them having worked hard, you see how well you stack up against some of the best that the country has to throw at you.”
“The other thing is, when we sign these ladies, those are the teams that they want to play growing up. They want to go see how they stack up. Those are some of the dreams they have during their junior and high school days. They see themselves on the courts of these big schools and want to see how they stack up against the best.”
“And if we should win the conference tournament, then you’re going to go play some of these teams in the NCAA tournament, which will take some of that sting out of the intimidation factor, because you’ve already played some of the them.”
Cram believes that it’s that three-fold objective that consistently strengthens and improves the program.
“I think it’s a complete cycle that’s done us well in the past and I think that’s why we’re pretty competitive in the conference year in and year out.”
The Lady Eagles will open up the new year on the road, continuing its SoCon schedule at UNC Greensboro (Jan. 5) and Elon (Jan. 7).
The schedule then features a three-game homestand versus Wofford (Jan. 12), Furman (Jan. 14), and Charleston (Jan. 19) before facing a challenging road trip versus defending regular season co-champions Western Carolina (Jan. 26) and Chattanooga (Jan. 28).
“It’s going to be as tough as it is going to get,” explained Cram. “There are five or six teams right out of the shoot that are very strong candidates to win the (conference) tournament and we’ll just have to see how it plays out. Western Carolina is at the top of their game; they’re returning everybody. Chattanooga’s been the team to beat the past six or seven years. Davidson is always tough and they’re just very solid.”
The new month brings a brief home-court spell as the Lady Eagles host UNC Greensboro (Feb. 2) and Elon (Feb. 4).
The team will then play a trio of games in South Carolina, clashing with Wofford (Feb. 9), Furman (Feb. 11), and Charleston (Feb. 16), before returning back to Statesboro versus Western Carolina (Feb. 23) and Chattanooga (Feb. 25).
The Lady Eagles close the regular season on the road versus Davidson (Feb. 28) and Appalachian State (Mar. 1) to usher in post-season play in the SoCon Tournament in Charleston, S.C. (Mar. 6-10).
“Last year from the conference, we had three teams advance to the post-season tournament,” said Cram. “We had two teams go to the WNIT, Western Carolina and Davidson. That’s never happened before. So we’re starting now to get that recognition of getting three teams in the post-season tournament, which is major. That gives us an added incentive here as a team just to play hard every ball game.”
Call 1-800-GSU-WINS for tickets.
- Category: Women's Basketball
- Published on Tuesday, 28 August 2007 00:12