Quinnipiac hosts North Carolina A&T in Preseason WNIT for 2013-14 season-opener
HAMDEN, Conn. – If the Quinnipiac women's basketball team is going to return to the NCAA Tournament in 2014 it will have a solid building base to start from with a challenging non-conference schedule. Head Coach Tricia Fabbri has announced a 10-game slate that features five opponents who are coming off of an NCAA Tournament or WNIT bid last year – with the potential of seeing seven teams that advanced to postseason play.
"This is our most aggressive non-conference schedule we've ever had," said head coach Tricia Fabbri. "We are extremely excited to begin the season in the Preseason WNIT, a tournament that features some of the best teams in the country. We have tried to build our program by competing against better programs across the country and we look forward to competing against the nation's elite."
Quinnipiac's 2013-14 season presents a daunting mission early on, as the Bobcats will be one of 16 teams in the 2013 Preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) - 10 of which are coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance. The field consists of Georgia State, Gonzaga, Idaho, IPFW, Louisville, Loyola Chicago, LSU, Mount St. Mary's, North Carolina A&T, Oklahoma, Quinnipiac, Saint Joseph's, Stephen F. Austin, Stetson, Tennessee-Martin, and Wichita State.
Quinnipiac will host North Carolina A&T in the opening round of the invitation-only tournament on Friday, November 8, 2013. Tip-off is slated for 5 p.m. at the TD Bank Sports Center. North Carolina A&T tallied a seven-game turnaround last season under first-year head coach Tarrell Robinson, who led the Aggies to their third Postseason WNIT showing in school history. NC A&T has four starters coming back from its 22-10 team that finished 13-3 in the MEAC.
The Preseason WNIT features a three-game guarantee format. The event opens Nov. 8-9 with first-round games. Second-round games will be played Nov. 10-11; semifinals will be Nov. 14; and the championship is set for Sunday, Nov. 17. Teams that lose in the first two rounds will play consolation games on the second weekend, Nov. 15-16. All games are hosted by participating schools. The championship game will be nationally televised live in HD on CBS Sports Network. Quinnipiac has won two of its last three in-season tournaments.
Following the Preseason WNIT Tournament, Quinnipiac continues its non-conference slate with a game at Carnesecca Arena against St. John's on Wednesday, Nov. 20 (7 p.m.). The Bobcats upended the Red Storm last season with a three-point victory on Lender Court. Plagued by injuries for much of the season, St. John's went on to collect 18 wins - which included an 11-5 record in the BIG EAST - and make the NCAA Tournament. However, St. John's will need to replace two BIG EAST First Team selections in Shenneika Smith and Nadirah McKenith who have both departed after graduation.
Quinnipiac returns home for the weekend, Saturday, Nov. 23, as the Bobcats welcome American University to the Bank. The Eagles boasted a 15-14 record last year after concluding the season with a loss to Bucknell in the Patriot League Quarterfinals. The Bobcats first met the Eagles in the 2011-12 campaign and defeated AU with a 13-point victory in the nation's capital. Brittany McQuain (Independence, Mo.) recorded eight points and 17 rebounds in the triumph.
"Our non-conference schedule will certainly prepare us for our first season in the MAAC," said Fabbri. "Hosting St. Joseph's and Hartford should give us a real feel for the MAAC Tourney in March. I am also looking forward to visiting Missouri St. where Brittany McQuain will be able to play in front of her friends and family."
After that, the Bobcats head to The Show Me State to round out competition for the month of November. Quinnipiac travels Missouri State on Tuesday, Nov. 26 (1:05 p.m.) for a showdown at JQH Arena. The Lady Bears compiled a 14-17 record last season and fell in the first round of the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Tournament. Missouri State posted a 9-5 mark at home and returns three starters from a year ago.
The first two weeks of December present perhaps the most difficult portion of the schedule. Quinnipiac hosts St. Joseph's on Sunday, Dec. 1 (2 p.m.) and Hartford on Wednesday, Dec. 4 (7 p.m.) with the MAAC opener mixed in that weekend. St. Joseph's posted a 23-9 mark last year and fell short to Vanderbilt in the NCAA Tournament's First Round. Jennifer Rizzotti's squad finished with a 21-12 record and fell short in the opening round of the WNIT.
The Bobcats wrap up their non-conference slate on away from home. Quinnipiac will take on the 2013 America East Champion, Albany, on Sunday, Dec. 15, followed by a trip to Holy Cross on Wednesday, Dec. 18. Albany is coming off one of the best seasons in program history with a 27-4 record and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Greyhounds suffered a mere five-point loss in the opening round to North Carolina. Holy Cross also earned a spot in its championship game, but fell short to Navy. The Crusaders posted an 18-14 mark with one of the losses coming to Quinnipiac.
2013-14 Quinnipiac Women's Basketball Non-Conference Schedule
|Sunday, Oct. 27||at Rutgers|
|The RAC - Piscataway, N.J. (Exhibition)||1:00 PM|
|Saturday, Nov. 2||Rhode Island|
|TD Bank Sports Center - Hamden, Conn. (Exhibition)||2:00 PM|
|Friday, Nov. 8||N.C. A&T#|
|Preseason WNIT - First Round TD Bank Sports Center - Hamden, Conn.||5:00 PM|
|Sunday, Nov. 10||vs. Preseason WNIT#|
|(If win first game)||TBA|
|Wednesday, Nov. 13||vs. Preseason WNIT#|
|(If win first and second game)||TBA|
|Friday, Nov. 15||vs. Preseason WNIT#|
|(If lose first or second game)||TBA|
|Sunday, Nov. 17||vs. Preseason WNIT#|
|Championship Game / Consolation Finals||TBA|
|Wednesday, Nov. 20||at St. John's (N.Y.)|
|Carnesecca Arena - New York, N.Y.||7:00 PM|
|Saturday, Nov. 23||American|
|TD Bank Sports Center - Hamden, Conn.||2:00 PM|
|Tuesday, Nov. 26||at Missouri St.|
|JQH Arena - Springfield, Mo.||12:00 PM|
|Sunday, Dec. 1||St. Joseph's|
|TD Bank Sports Center - Hamden, Conn.||2:00 PM|
|Wednesday, Dec. 4||Hartford|
|TD Bank Sports Center - Hamden, Conn.||7:00 PM|
|Sunday, Dec. 15||at Albany|
|SEFCU Arena - Albany, N.Y.||2:00 PM|
|Wednesday, Dec. 18||at Holy Cross|
|Hart Recreation Center - Worcester, Mass.||11:30 AM|
Home Games in bold to be played at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn.
# - Denotes game in the 2013 Preseason WNIT Tournament - To be played at highest seed's home site
Looking ahead, Coach Fabbri and the Bobcats will see a similar challenge in 2014-15 with another stimulating non-conference slate. Quinnipiac will take part in the 2014 Basketball Hall of Fame Women's College Basketball Challenge, a tournament featuring the likes of Notre Dame, Kansas, Temple and Georgetown. The Bobcats are in Notre Dame's bracket, and will play three games in three days in South Bend. The tournament concludes with a final game after Thanksgiving at either Mohegan Sun or the MassMutual Center.
Student-Athletes, parents and fans can download the 2013-14 QU Athletics schedules to your laptop and mobile devices for free by clicking in the iCalendar link at the bottom of each sport's homepage or the master schedule page. Fans can also follow Quinnipiac Athletics on Facebook and Twitter (@QUAthletics) for all of the latest news and updates.