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Ezell announces 2014-15 schedule
Thursday, July 24, 2014
ETSU will play entirety of home slate inside newly-renovated Brooks Gym
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (July 24, 2014) – Second-year ETSU women’s basketball head coach Brittney Ezell unveiled the program’s 2014-15 schedule Thursday, complete with contests against six teams who competed in postseason play last season including two NCAA Tournament teams.
The 2014-15 schedule will feature a total of 29 games with 11 to be played at home. ETSU will play the entirety of its home slate inside a newly-renovated Brooks Gym which features a new-look playing surface, modern goals and various aesthetic upgrades throughout the facility. Furthermore, 14 home-and-away dates are set against each of the seven Southern Conference foes.
“We are excited to release our 2014-15 schedule, not only to reveal the upcoming opponents but to remind Buccaneer fans that we will be ‘Back in Brooks’ for the season,” said ETSU head coach Brittney Ezell. “We are thrilled to be in a campus venue that will be easy for students, faculty and fans to access. Plus, it goes without saying that we are looking forward to our return to the SoCon.”
Fans interested in purchasing season tickets can do so through the ETSU Athletics Ticket Office at (423) 439-3878 or online at ETSUBucs.com/Tickets.
The Bucs will kickoff the season inside Brooks Gym with a Homecoming exhibition contest against Milligan College on Nov. 1, followed by welcoming King University a week later on Nov. 8 for its final exhibition tune-up.
ETSU begins the regular season with a short trip to Asheville, North Carolina to take on the UNC Asheville Bulldogs on Friday, Nov. 14 in the teams’ first meeting since 2008. A few days later, the Bucs will open their regular season home schedule on Nov. 17 when they welcome High Point to Brooks Gym. The Panthers will enter play in 2014-15 after a successful campaign last season in which they captured the Big South regular season conference championship and advanced to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) before finishing with a 22-11 overall record. The Blue & Gold will then greet regional rival Appalachian State in a home matchup on Nov. 19 as a return game following ETSU’s 81-72 victory in Boone, North Carolina last season.
A pair of additional return games from last season will follow on the road with the Bucs traveling to Loretto, Pennsylvania and Terra Haute, Indiana to take on the St. Francis (Pa.) Red Flash on Nov. 21 and Indiana State on Nov. 24. Against ISU, ETSU will look to repeat last season’s big out-of-conference win in which it topped the visiting Sycamores, 75-67, inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center. The Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) institution progressed over the course of 2013-14 to claim a share of the MVC regular season title as well as an appearance in the WNIT and a 21-13 overall record.
The Bucs will remain in the Hoosier State for its next contest against Indiana on Nov. 26. The Hoosiers, too, performed strong last season with a WNIT appearance and a 21-13 overall record.
ETSU will then make a trip to the state of Virginia to take on Atlantic Coast Conference foe Virginia Tech on Nov. 29 and another repeat out-of-league opponent from last season in George Mason on Dec. 3. A trek south will then follow to Huntsville, Alabama to battle the Alabama A&M Bulldogs on Dec. 6.
The Blue & Gold will be back in Brooks Gym on Dec. 13 against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. Next, the Bucs will face their final out-of-conference repeat opponent from last season when they travel to Morehead, Kentucky to face Morehead State on Dec. 15.
From Dec. 19 – 20, the Bucs will be competing in the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Tournament in which they will face host UNCW on day one and follow with a contest against Jacksonville State on day two.
A formidable two-game, home-and-away stretch will follow after the holiday break with ETSU welcoming Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) regular season co-champion Iona to Brooks Gym on Dec. 29 and then visiting Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) power North Carolina on Jan. 2. These final out-of-league opponents of the 2014-15 season boast impressive credentials from last season in which the Gaels compiled a 26-6 overall record and an appearance in the WNIT, while the Tar Heels advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight and ended the season with a 27-10 overall record.
“We will host four non-conference teams in the fall and I know the natural rivalry with Appalachian State will have a lot of fans eager to see that game,” said Ezell. “We will also welcome High Point, Eastern Kentucky and Iona to Johnson City during the fall semester.”
“Playing traditional basketball schools such as Indiana and North Carolina will be an incredible experience and chance for our players,” said Ezell. “Additional road trips to Virginia Tech, George Mason, Morehead State, UNC Asheville, St. Francis (Pa.), Indiana State, UNC Wilmington and Alabama A&M will all be serve as formidable opponents who will stretch and grow our team and program. Our road games will be great preparation for the difficult conference schedule.”
Reuniting with former conference and regional rivals will begin on Jan. 10 when the Blue & Gold opens SoCon play on the road against Furman. The Paladins will enter 2014-15 following an impressive campaign last season in which they recorded an 18-13 overall record and reached postseason play in the WNIT. The Bucs will end their South Carolina road trip with a short journey to Wofford to face the Terriers on Jan. 12.
ETSU will open home league play on Jan. 17 when it welcomes UNC Greensboro to Brooks Gym. Home action will continue with the Blue & Gold’s second meeting against Wofford in two weeks on Jan. 24. The Bucs will then hit the road to face another familiar foe in former Atlantic Sun Conference member Mercer on Jan. 26 in Macon, Georgia.
The Blue & Gold will return to campus for a pair of contests, beginning first with welcoming the Samford Bulldogs on Jan. 31 then hosting long-time rival University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Feb. 2 in the 75th all-time meeting between the two teams. ETSU will aim to avenge a tough, 70-61 loss to the Mocs in non-conference action last season inside the Dome. The Bucs will then journey to Cullowhee, North Carolina on Feb. 7 to repay Western Carolina following last year’s early season, 58-56, loss to the Catamounts inside the Ramsey Center.
Repeat conference opponents will begin on Feb. 9 with Furman making the trip to Johnson City, followed by Western Carolina, too, visiting Brooks Gym on Feb. 14. The Blue & Gold will then travel to UNC Greensboro two days later before returning to campus to face Mercer on Feb. 21. A pair of road contests will close out the regular season when the Bucs make the long trip to Birmingham, Alabama to challenge Samford on Feb. 23, prior to wrapping up league play at Chattanooga on Feb. 28.
The 2014 SoCon Championship will be held in Asheville, March 6 – 9. Sites of competition will be announced at a later date.
“We are excited for the 2014-2015 season,” said Ezell, “and look forward to the next step in our building process for the women’s basketball program.”
Finalized times for all 2014-15 contests will be updated here following confirmation.
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