Thursday, September 18, 2003JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (September 18, 2003) - East Tennessee State University has released its women's basketball schedule for the quickly approaching 2003-04 season. The Lady Bucs will begin play on the road against some highly competitive non-conference opponents before getting into the always-grueling Southern Conference portion of the schedule. Head Coach Karen Kemp, who returns for her 10th season at the helm, has invited players from the National Women's Basketball League to participate in an exhibition game at Memorial Center on Nov. 23. From there the Lady Bucs will travel to Temple for their regular-season opener. "We picked up Temple for the first time and we think it will be good for the program, playing a school with such a basketball tradition," said Kemp. "Once again, we will be playing a challenging non-conference schedule, which we feel is important to prepare us for some tough Southern Conference opponents." ETSU will then travel to UNC Asheville on Dec. 3, before heading to Cincinnati, Ohio for the Provident Bank Xavier Invitational. The Lady Bucs will tip-off against High Point in the first game on Dec. 6 to decide who will play the winner of Xavier and Central Michigan for the tournament championship on Dec. 7. UNC Greensboro will come to Johnson City on Dec. 13 for the Southern Conference home opener. The game versus the Spartans will be played on campus in Brooks Gym, a site the Lady Bucs have not played in since Jan. 27, 2001. One of the more interesting destinations on this year's schedule is a trip to Clemson on Dec. 15, where ETSU's men's and women's squads will each take on the Tigers in a doubleheader beginning with the women at 5 p.m. Senior night at Memorial Center will be held on Feb. 9 against Western Carolina, as Kemp and company will wrap-up their regular season with four straight conference games on the road, concluding with Georgia Southern on Feb. 28. "It seems like every other year our schedule plays out where we finish with a bunch of road games," Kemp said. "Hopefully, it will force our young squad to mature very quickly before the start of the postseason." The 2004 Mountain Dew Southern Conference Women's Basketball Championship will again be held in Charleston, S.C. First round of the tournament will begin on Wednesday, Mar. 3 with the championship game being played on Saturday, Mar. 6. Seniors Lauren Trantham (Asheville, N.C.), Kiya Verdell (Hartwell, Ga.), and Jessica Lonon (Sylvania, Ga.), will lead this year's squad, which is laden with young talent. Kemp has brought in seven newcomers to the program, which include five freshman and two transfers. Last season ETSU finished with a 9-19 record overall and were 6-12 in the SoCon.
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