USC WBB Releases Non-Conference Slate
COLUMBIA, S .C. (USC SID) — South Carolina women‘s basketball head coach Dawn Staley announced today her team‘s non-conference schedule for 2015-16, which features seven teams that recorded 20 or more wins last season and 10 that played in the 2015 postseason, including the NCAA and WNIT champions. The Gamecocks will play 13 non-conference games, with seven set for Colonial Life Arena, three at neutral sites and three true road contests. Including the 16 games of the SEC schedule, which will be announced later this month, South Carolina‘s 29-game slate features 10 games against teams that finished the 2014-15 season ranked in the top 25 (four non-conference, six SEC) and a total of 21 against opponents that played in either the NCAA Tournament or WNIT in 2015. “We have put together a challenging non-conference schedule that will help prepare us for another [NCAA] Final Four run,” Staley said. “The home slate was made with Gamecock Nation in mind. They have made Colonial Life Arena one of the toughest places to play in the country and look forward to hosting the nation‘s premier programs for some exciting games.” Five of the seven non-conference home games will feature opponents that played in the 2015 postseason, headlined by NCAA national champion Connecticut‘s trip on Feb. 8. Duke (Dec. 6) reached the NCAA Sweet 16, and Ohio State (Nov. 13), on tap for the season opener, advanced to the NCAA second round and closed the season ranked No. 23/20 in the nation. Both Hampton (Dec. 16) and Elon (Dec. 22) played in the WNIT. UNC Greensboro (Nov. 15) and Winthrop (Dec. 13) will also visit Colonial Life Arena this season. Two of South Carolina‘s three true road games come in the season‘s second week. The Gamecocks put their five-game win streak against archrival Clemson (Nov. 18) on the line before a trip to WNIT champion UCLA (Nov. 22). The last non-conference road test will be in the final game of the Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Wahine Showdown against host Hawaii (Nov. 29). South Carolina opens that Thanksgiving weekend event against Arizona State (Nov. 27), which narrowly missed advancing to play the Gamecocks in the NCAA Elite Eight last season and finished the season ranked in the top 10. South Carolina will take on CSU Bakersfield the following day. Following the three-game homestand to open December, the Gamecocks head to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to take on East Carolina (Dec. 19), which reached the second round of the WNIT last season. Season ticket deposits for 2015-16 are being accepted now via the website, www.GamecocksOnline.com/tickets, or by calling the South Carolina Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-4SC-FANS. This season, fans can choose from three ticket options – Reserved ($60; Sections 104-106 and 113-115), Corner Reserved ($40; Sections 102-103, 107-108 and 116-117) or General Admission ($30). Fri., Nov. 6 — Newberry (Exhibition), Columbia, S.C. Fri., Nov. 13 — Ohio State, Columbia, S.C. Sat., Nov. 15 — UNC Greensboro, Columbia, S.C. Wed., Nov. 18 — at Clemson, Clemson, S.C. Sun., Nov. 22 — at UCLA, Los Angeles, Calif. Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Wahine Showdown Fri., Nov. 27 — vs. Arizona State, Waikiki, Hawaii Sat., Nov. 28 — vs. CSU Bakersfield, Waikiki, Hawaii Sun., Nov. 29 — at Hawaii, Waikiki, Hawaii Sun., Dec. 6 — Duke, Columbia, S.C. Sun., Dec. 13 — Winthrop, Columbia, S.C. Wed., Dec. 16 — Hampton, Columbia, S.C. Sat., Dec. 19 — vs. East Carolina, Myrtle Beach, S.C. Tue., Dec. 22 — Elon, Columbia, S.C. Mon., Feb. 8 — Connecticut, Columbia, S.C.