26-game schedule includes 8 games against NCAA Tournament teams
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Eight games against teams that advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament, including defending national champion Shaw, highlight’s this year’s Tusculum women’s basketball schedule. (2011-12 Schedule)
The Pioneers will face a challenging 26-game schedule that includes an 18-game South Atlantic Conference slate and 11 home contests for TC head coach Katrina Williams, who is entering her first season in Greeneville.
Coach Williams brings back eight letter-winners and three starters from last year’s 17-11 squad that advanced to the NCAA II Tournament for a fifth consecutive year.
The non-conference schedule includes three programs that advanced to last year’s NCAA II Elite Eight and four teams in all that qualified for the NCAA postseason.
Tusculum will open its regular season at NCAA Division I Furman for a Nov. 9 contest at Timmons Arena in Greenville. Timmons Arena will be the host site of the semifinal and final round of the 2013 Food Lion SAC Tournament. Furman posted a 15-16 record last season and finished sixth in the Southern Conference.
TC will host Winston-Salem State on Nov. 17 at Pioneer Arena in the team’s home opener. The Rams are coming off a 17-10 campaign that saw WSSU finish third in the CIAA Southern Division. It will be the first recorded meeting between the two programs.
On Nov. 23-24, Tusculum will travel to Winter Park, Fla. for the Rollins Thanksgiving Tournament. Tusculum will open the tournament on Nov. 23rd against the host Tars, who are coming off their best season in program history. Rollins posted a 28-5 record while advancing to the national semifinal where they lost to Shaw. The Tars swept both the Sunshine State Conference regular season and tournament titles and won its first-ever NCAA South Region championship.
On Nov. 24, Tusculum will face either Charleston (W.Va.) or Missouri Science & Technology. Charleston went 13-15 last season, while Missouri S&T posted an 18-9 worksheet and finished third in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Western Division.
Tusculum will open South Atlantic Conference play on Nov. 28 when the Pioneers host in-state foe Lincoln Memorial as the two teams split last year’s series as each team held serve on their home court.
TC will play its next three games on the road against teams that posted a combined 71-24 record a year ago. On Dec. 1, Tusculum will face defending NCAA Southeast Region champion Lander in Greenwood, S.C. Lander went 24-8 last season, including a 68-56 win over Tusculum in Greeneville last season as the Bearcats lead the series 6-3.
Following a Dec. 3rd rematch at Winston-Salem State, Tusculum will travel to Raleigh, N.C. to take on defending national champion Shaw on Dec. 11. The Bears posted a 29-6 record en route to the program’s first national championship. One of those six losses came against the Pioneers in a 68-61 decision in Greeneville.
Tusculum closes out the pre-holiday schedule with a Dec. 19 home game against Johnson C. Smith. The Golden Bulls are coming off a 22-7 campaign that saw JCSU finish runner-up in the CIAA Southern Division and advance to the NCAA Tournament.
TC returns to conference play on Jan. 5 with a road-trip to defending SAC regular-season and tournament champion Wingate. The Bulldogs went 23-7, including two wins over Tusculum and advanced to the championship game of the NCAA Southeast Regional.
The Pioneers return home on Jan. 9 to host arch-rival Carson-Newman. The Lady Eagles finished tied for fifth in the SAC standings, while posting a 17-11 overall recording as TC and C-N split the season series.
On Jan. 12, Tusculum will be at SAC regular-season and tournament runner-up Catawba. The Catawba Indians went 19-10 last year, but the Pioneers have won 12 straight games against Catawba, including both meetings last season.
Tusculum begins a three-game home-stand on Jan. 16 against Anderson. The Pioneers and Trojans each posted road wins in last year’s two meetings. Anderson is coming off its second SAC season where they went 10-17 and finished eighth.
Tusculum welcomes cross-mountain rival Mars Hill on Jan. 19. The Lions posted a 13-14 overall record last year, including a 75-71 win at Tusculum in the regular-season finale. TC won last year’s first encounter 91-70 at Mars Hill.
The Pioneers host Lenoir-Rhyne on Jan. 23 in the 33rd recorded meeting between the two schools. The series is tied at 16-16, including five straight wins by the Pioneers over the Bears. L-R went 19-9 last year and finished tied for third place in the SAC standings with Tusculum.
TC will venture to Newberry on Jan. 26 to face a Wolves’ team went 16-12. Newberry had Tusculum’s number a year ago in sweeping the two regular season meetings and upsetting the Pioneers in Greeneville at the SAC Tournament quarterfinal.
Tusculum will have a rematch at Lincoln Memorial on Jan. 30, before hosting Brevard on Feb. 2. BC went 6-20 last year, as the Pioneers have never lost to the Tornados in the 10 previous meetings.
TC travels to Carson-Newman on Feb, 6, before returning home for a rematch with Wingate on Feb. 9. Tusculum will travel to Anderson on Feb. 13 and host Catawba on Feb. 16. Road contests at Lenoir-Rhyne (Feb. 20) and Mars Hill (Feb. 23) will precede the Feb. 27 home finale against Newberry. TC will close out the regular season at Brevard on Mar. 2.
The Food Lion SAC Tournament begins on Mar. 6 with quarterfinal games at the higher seeds. The semifinals and final of the SAC Tournament will be held in Greenville, S.C. (Mar. 9-10).
The NCAA Division II Tournament starts Mar. 13-15 at a campus site. The eight regional champions will advance to the NCAA II Elite Eight, which will be hosted once again in San Antonio, Texas.
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