Women's Basketball Announces Non-Conference Schedule
NEW ROCHELLE, NY - Iona College women's basketball head coach Billi Godsey announced the team's 2014-15 non-conference schedule. Consisting of nine games, the Gaels will host four contests at the Hynes Athletics Center and head on the road for five additional matchups.
"Every season, we use our non-conference schedule to get us ready for the mental and physical rigors of league play," said Godsey. "I believe we have put together a slate of competition that will prepare us for an extremely competitive MAAC season."
The competition includes five teams that participated in postseason play a year ago, including four squads that competed in the WNIT, and Fordham, 2014 NCAA participant.
After a three-year hiatus, Iona will renew its non-conference rivalry with the Rams on Nov. 14 to begin the season. Iona and Fordham have faced off 39 times previously, with Fordham holding a 23-16 advantage in wins. The two teams last faced off during the 2010-11 season, when the Maroon & Gold prevailed 47-44 at the Hynes Center. A season ago, Fordham went 25-8 and claimed the A-10 Championship.
The Maroon & Gold welcomes Sacred Heart to the Hynes Center on Nov. 16 for the team's home opener. A season ago, the Gaels defeated the Pioneers 86-62 on the road to push their all-time record against Sacred Heart to 6-2.
On Nov. 18, Iona travels to Ohio for a return matchup from a season ago with Bowling Green. The Falcons, 30-5 in 2013-14, dealt the Gaels one of their two non-conference losses, 51-50, on the second day of the Iona Tip-Off Tournament. Bowling Green earned the MAC Regular Season Championship, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the WNIT.
The Gaels head to the University of the Pacific on Nov. 23 in another return meeting from the 2013-14 season. The Gaels moved to 1-2 all-time against the Tigers when they defeated Pacific 83-70 at the Hynes Center a year ago, the first win of the Maroon & Gold's historic 18 game winning streak. Pacific finished with an overall mark of 18-13, earning a berth to the 2014 WNIT Tournament.
Before coming back to the east coast, Iona will make a stop at Kansas for a tilt with the Jayhawks at the legendary Phog Allen Fieldhouse on Nov. 26. It will mark the first ever meeting between the Maroon & Gold and Kansas, the alma mater of Iona College President Dr. Joseph E. Nyre. The Jayhawks reached the Sweet 16 in 2013.
The Gaels begin a three-game home swing on Nov. 30 when Stony Brook visits the Hynes Center. Stony Brook posted a 24-9 record a year ago, falling to Michigan in the first round of the WNIT.
On Dec. 14, the Gaels welcome Central Florida to New Rochelle in a return matchup from a season ago. The Gaels defeated the Knights 78-66 on the road during the 2013-14 campaign.
Iona completes the three-game homestand on Dec. 20 when 2014 WNIT Champion Rutgers visits the Hynes Center. The Scarlet Knights finished 28-9 a year ago. The Maroon & Gold completes non-conference action on Dec. 29 at East Tennesse St. The contest marks the first ever meeting between the Gaels and Bucs.
The MAAC schedule will be announced at a later date. Under the direction of Godsey, the 2014 WBCA Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year and 2014 MAAC Coach of the Year, the Gaels return a number of players from last year's 26-6, MAAC Regular Season Championship team, including senior guard Damika Martinez. Martinez is the nation's leading returning scorer after averaging 24.9 points per game in 2013-14. Martinez claimed her third consecutive MAAC scoring title, and second straight MAAC Player of the Year award a season ago, along with Met Player of the Year honors.
Also returning to the Gaels will be junior forward Joy Adams. Adams finished third in the nation as a sophomore in rebounding, with an average of 13.3 boards per game. Adams was a First Team All-MAAC selection and Second Team All-Met honoree.