WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross head women's basketball coach Bill Gibbons and athletic director Richard M. Regan, Jr., have announced the Crusaders' schedule for the 2011-2012 season, with the first game slated for Friday, Nov. 11. Highlighting the schedule is a game against the seven-time NCAA National Champion Connecticut, in Storrs, Conn., on Sunday, Nov. 13 and participation in the Miami Women's Basketball Holiday Tournament hosted by Miami from Dec. 28-29.
The Crusaders open up the season with a trip to Ivy League foe Yale on Friday, followed by a day of rest and then a visit to Connecticut on Sunday. The team will then open up at the Hart Center on Nov. 16 against Quinnipiac followed by two more home meetings with Fordham (Nov. 19) and Massachusetts (Nov. 22). The first month of action ends with away games at Harvard (Nov. 27) and Central Connecticut (Nov. 30).
The month of December starts on the road at New Hampshire (Dec. 3) and continues at home against Northeastern (Dec. 7). A visit to Boston College (Dec. 18) and visit from Bryant (Dec. 21) round out action before the Christmas holiday. The game against Bryant will be the first annual "Get Fit with the Lady Crusaders" day, as students from around the Worcester Public Schools will attend the game. The team then participates in the Miami Holiday Classic in Miami, Fla. The Crusaders, host Hurricanes, Virginia Commonwealth and Morgan State make up the four-team tournament.
"Our non-conference schedule is again highlighted by games with UConn and Boston College and a very competitive Christmas tournament at Miami," said Gibbons. "It is our hope that our pre-conference tests will prepare us for the Patriot League, which continues to get stronger every year. We are extremely excited about a new initiative with the Worcester Public Schools this year. We will start our home game against Bryant early in order to fill the Hart Center with grammar school students who will learn about health, nutrition and exercise before cheering us on at the game."
Dartmouth comes to the Hart Center as the first contest of the New Year on Jan. 3. The match-up with the Big Green also serves as one of the team's final non-conference contests as Patriot League play begins at Lehigh on Jan. 7. A game at reigning Patriot League champion Navy (Jan. 11) follows before the Crusader host the Patriot League runners-up, American (Jan. 14). The team's final non-conference contest of the season will be played away at Brown (Jan. 16) as the team returns to league action at Lafayette (Jan. 18). Two home contests and one road bout wrap up the month of January as the team hosts Bucknell (Jan. 21) and Army (Jan. 25) before playing in Hamilton, N.Y. against Colgate (Jan. 28).
The team begins the month of February with round two of Patriot League action, hosting Lehigh (Feb. 4) for the Winter Homecoming game and Navy (Feb. 8). The final five contests of the regular season will be played at American (Feb. 11), home against Lafayette (Feb. 15), on the road at Bucknell (Feb. 18) and Army (Feb. 22) and again at the Hart Center versus Colgate (Feb. 25).
The Patriot League tournament will be held at the highest seed beginning with the quarterfinals on March 1 and the semifinals on March 5. The Patriot League championship game will be played on Saturday, March 10 at the highest remaining seed and will be broadcast on CBS College Sports.
Holy Cross is coming off the 2010-2011 season where it posted an overall record of 10-20 (6-8 Patriot League). Gibbons enters his 27th season with the Crusaders in 2011-2012 as Holy Cross returns eight letterwinners, including All-Rookie Team selection Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.), and welcomes three newcomers.