Courtside

Your Guide to GW sports

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 2:28 p.m.

Women’s basketball releases challenging 2011-12 non-conference schedule

GW will again take on District rival George Mason in the upcoming season. The Colonials defeated the Patriots in the Smith Center last year. File Photo

The women’s basketball program unveiled a challenging non-conference schedule for the upcoming 2011-2012 season today, highlighted by two opponents that made trips to the NCAA tournament last year.

The Colonials will travel to District-rival Georgetown on Dec. 11, pairing off against a Hoyas squad that traveled to the Regional round of the 2011 NCAA Championship, before falling to Connecticut.

GW will host its next NCAA tournament opponent, Rutgers,  in the Smith Center Dec. 30. The Scarlet Knights made it to the second round of the 2011 tournament before falling to eventual champion Texas A & M. GW traveled to Rutgers last season, falling by 10 points.

GW’s schedule pits the Colonials against a number of District rivals. Along with Georgetown, the program will begin its non-conference season by hosting an exhibition game against UDC on Nov. 8, later traveling to George Mason, who the Colonials defeated in the Smith Center last December. The Colonials will wrap their regular-season non-conference schedule when they host American Jan. 2, looking to avenge last season’s loss to the Eagles.

The first weekend of December, the Colonials will participate in the Navy Classic, an annual tournament hosted by the U.S. Naval Academy. GW will face Maine on Dec. 2 and take on Houston Baptist on Dec. 3.

The Colonials will play 15 non-conference games total. In November, GW will also host Morgan State, Virginia Tech, Radford and Old Dominion, and will travel to UT Arlington and Auburn.  GW lost to Morgan State in the Miami Holiday Classic last season, and fell to both Old Dominion and Auburn last December.

In addition to the Navy Classic, Georgetown, George Mason and Rutgers, the Colonials will face two other non-conference teams in December. GW will host Loyola Dec. 18 and travel to William & Mary Dec. 28.

The Colonials finished the 2010-11 season with an 8-21 overall record, ranking 11th of 14 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Despite struggling with injuries and limited depth for the second season in a row, GW earned a bid to the A-10 tournament, but fell in the first round to Dayton. Head coach Mike Bozeman acknowledged the team’s struggles, but feels that the Colonials are poised to make a comeback in the coming seasons.

As Bozeman looks for his team to grow and improve, GW will take the court under revamped leadership, adding Tamika Louis and Kristin Cole as assistant coaches following the departure of Katie Rokus and Kristeena Alexander from the program.

The Colonials have also built upon their roster in the off season, signing three recruits that Bozeman said will both address the needs of the team and raise its “overall talent level”.