August 29, 2005

Holy Cross Women's Basketball 2005-2006 Schedule Finalized

Aug. 29, 2005

Worcester, Mass. - Holy Cross head women's basketball coach Bill Gibbons and athletic director Richard M. Regan, Jr., have announced the finalized version of the 2005-06 Holy Cross women's basketball schedule, which includes two holiday tournaments and a total of 11 home games.

The Crusaders will play five games against teams which advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season (Arizona State, Boston College, Connecticut, Dartmouth, Duke), and could face a sixth NCAA Tournament team (Virginia), depending on the outcome of first round games at the Cavalier Classic in late December.

"We are again excited about our schedule," said Gibbons. "We have some new names, but we will still play four or five Top 20 teams before our league schedule begins."

Holy Cross begins the season with road games at Northeastern (November 18) and Massachusetts (November 20), before it hosts Dartmouth in the home opener on November 22. After almost a full week off for Thanksgiving break, the Crusaders welcome St. Peters to the Hart Center on November 28 and then take off for a three-game road trip beginning with Boston College on November 30.

Following the BC game, Holy Cross travels to Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz., where they meet up with the Sun Devils in the first round of the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic (December 2). The Cross could see either Memphis or Western Kentucky in the second round of the tournament.

The Crusaders head back to Worcester for a 6:00 p.m. match-up with Rhode Island on December 7 in their last game before final exams. The Purple and White then go on the road for four more road contests, including a tilt with 2004 National Champion Connecticut (December 19) at the Hartford Civic Center. Games in Charlottesville, Va., at the Cavalier Classic (December 28-29) will include Boston University in the first round and either Yale or Virginia in the second round. A trip to Maine to face the Black Bears on January 2 will be HC's final tune-up before the start of Patriot League play on January 7 when it hosts Lafayette. The Maine game has been moved from the Orono campus to the Portland Civic Center.

"I am thrilled to be starting a home-and-home series with my good friend Ann McInerney at the University of Maine...it will be nice to have two Worcesterites coaching against each other," said Gibbons.

Following trips to Army (January 10) and Bucknell (January 14), the Crusaders play in their final non-conference game of the season when they host perennial power Duke University on Monday, January 16 at the Hart Center. Holy Cross will host games against American (January 21) and Colgate (January 24), before traveling to Lehigh (January 28), Navy (January 31) and Lafayette (February 4).

The Crusaders match up with Army (February 7), Bucknell (February 11) and Navy (February 14), in a three-game home stand before they play at American (February 18) and at Colgate (February 21) in their final two road games of the year. The regular season finale will be on February 25 when Holy Cross takes on Lehigh.

"The Patriot League should be very competitive again this season and I think the Saturday doubleheaders will have the Hart Center packed to help us as we make a run for another league title," continued Gibbons. "Hosting Duke at the Hart Center will also be tremendous for our program and our fans."

The 2006 Patriot League Tournament begins with quarterfinal and semifinal round action on March 2 and 4, with games to be played on the campuses of the two highest seeds. The tournament championship game will take place on March 8, at the home of the highest remaining seed.

Last season, the Crusaders posted a 12-2 record in conference play on their way to capturing the program's 11th Patriot League regular season title and its 10th Patriot League Tournament title in the 15-year history of the League. Holy Cross also earned a berth in its 11th NCAA Tournament after a 79-70 win over Colgate in the Patriot League Championship game. In addition, the Crusaders, who were just one of just three teams in the 64-team NCAA Tournament to post a 100.0 percent graduation rate of overall basketball student-athletes, won 20 games for the 16th time in Gibbons' 20-year career.