Emmitsburg, Md. (August 28, 2013) -- Head Coach Bryan Whitten announced the Mount St. Mary's women's basketball team's schedule on Thursday, headlined by the program's second-ever trip to the Preseason WNIT and 12 home games at Knott Arena.
Coming off a 2012-13 season that included a 15-16 record and a berth in the Northeast Conference Semifinals, Whitten's squad will play 12 non-conference and 18 NEC games in his seventh year with the program. The Mount's schedule features six games against teams that won at least 20 games last season and 11 against teams with winning records in 2012-13.
The Mount kicks off the season with a trip to Philadelphia to take on reigning Atlantic 10 Champion Saint Joseph's on Nov. 8 in the first round of the Preseason WNIT.
"We are extremely excited about our schedule this year," Whitten said. "We open up in the Preseason WNIT at Saint Joseph's. We were one of 16 teams invited to the WNIT so it says a lot, and we are very honored to be included in the field."
A win over the Hawks would secure a game against the winner of LSU and Stephen F. Austin on Nov. 10. All teams are guaranteed at least three games in the tournament.
Second-round games will be played Nov. 10 and 11 and sites will be announced following the first-round results; 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. The championship game will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network.
The Mount is 2-2 all-time against Saint Joseph's, dating back to the first meeting on Jan. 31, 1976. After losing the first two matchups, the Mount secured victories against the Hawks in 1980 and 1981.
The Mountaineers' home debut is set for Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. against Davidson, marking the first-ever meeting between the two sides.
The non-conference schedule continues with a Nov. 19 showdown in Bethlehem, Pa. against Lehigh, a team that took down the Mount, 66-57, in Emmitsburg last year. The Mount holds a 4-3 lead in the all-time series with the Mountain Hawks.
On Nov. 23, the Mount will look to avenge last season's 54-48 loss to Campbell with a matchup against the Camels in the second-ever meeting with the Big South school.
The next two games will be on the road for the Mount at Pittsburgh (Nov. 26) and at Navy (Dec. 3). Pittsburgh, which will compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference for the first time in 2013-14, handed the Mount a 67-43 defeat last December to improve to 6-0 in the series.
The Mount defeated Navy a year ago, 53-45, to run its record to 19-8 all-time. The Mids went on to win the Patriot League last season.
December 7 at Knott Arena will mark the 35th meeting between the Mount and local rival Loyola (Md.). The sides did not play each other last season, but in the last matchup during the 2011-12 campaign, the Mount earned a 59-54 home victory to run its record to 22-12 versus the Greyhounds.
Following a nine-day break from games, the Mount travels to Washington, D.C. on Dec. 16 to go head-to-head with American for the fourth-consecutive season. American holds a 9-5 lead over the Mount and has won six in a row, including a 48-46 win last December.
The Mount wraps up the 2013 calendar year with a home game against UMES on Dec. 21, putting its 11-0 all-time record against the Hawks on the line. The Mount is 3-0 against UMES during Whitten's tenure.
The final non-conference tilt on the schedule is the program's first game against Boston College from the ACC on Jan. 1 in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
"The rest of our non-conference schedule besides the WNIT is very, very challenging," Whitten commented. "Davidson, Lehigh, Campbell, Navy and American all are one of the top teams in their conferences. Our two big BCS games are against ACC members Boston College and Pittsburgh, while UMES and Loyola provide great local rivalries."
The Mount looks to continue its dominance of St. Francis Brooklyn with the beginning of NEC play on Jan. 4 in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Mountaineers have won 46 of the 48 games in the series, which dates back to 1990.
A four-game homestand highlights the January slate with games against LIU Brooklyn (Jan. 6), Sacred Heart (Jan. 11), St. Francis Brooklyn (Jan. 13) and Wagner (Jan. 18). The Mount has won three out of four against LIU and is 29-17 all-time against the Blackbirds. Against Sacred Heart, the Mount is 4-23, while putting together a 34-15 mark against Wagner with five wins in a row in the series.
January concludes with the Mount traveling to Loretto, Pa. to take on NEC runner-up Saint Francis U (Jan. 20) and returning home to square off with Bryant (Jan. 25) before heading to New Britain, Conn. to take on Central Connecticut State (Jan. 27). The Mount will look to snap a seven-game slide against Saint Francis U to even the series, which currently stands at 28-26 in favor of the Red Flash. Bryant and the Mount split last year's games with both teams winning on each other's home court to put the Mount's record at 5-2 against Bryant. The Mount also holds a comfortable 19-10 mark against CCSU.
The Mount will host Robert Morris on Feb. 1 as part of the University's Winter Homecoming festivities, looking to add to its 33 wins in 50 games against the Colonials. Two days later on Feb. 3, the Mount will again take on CCSU, this time at Knott Arena.
Six of the Mount's final eight NEC games will be played on the road beginning with four in a row away from Emmitsburg. The Mount is set to travel to LIU Brooklyn (Feb. 8), Fairleigh Dickinson (Feb. 10), Sacred Heart (Feb. 15) and Bryant (Feb. 17). The Mountaineers and FDU split both contests the past two seasons with the Mount carrying a 25-21 lead all-time.
The final two regular season home games will be against FDU (Feb. 22) and Saint Francis U (Feb. 24).
At the beginning of March, the Mount wraps up the regular season at Wagner (Mar. 1) and at Robert Morris (Mar. 3) all building toward the NEC Tournament with its three rounds locked in for March 9, 12 and 16.
"Our NEC schedule is very challenging as well. Every year the teams get better and better. Competition gets tougher and tougher," Whitten said. "I think this year there are a number of teams who have the opportunity to be good enough to win the championship, including the Mount. If we continue to work hard and improve and stay focused, I think that in the end we have a chance to achieve some special things."
For season tickets, fans can call the Mount Ticket Office at 301-447-5700.