What you need to know:
Western Carolina women's basketball will play a 29-game schedule, starting with 15 non-league games, before opening the Southern Conference 14-game slate the first week of January. WCU has one more non-conference game slated for January when the team hosts Warren Wilson on Jan. 24. WCU will have 14 home games including five doubleheaders with Catamount men's basketball.
The Catamounts open the 2017-18 season with three consecutive home games beginning November 10 against former Southern Conference foe Davidson.
Western Carolina will play two teams from the Southeastern Conference going up against Georgia and the defending NCAA National Champions, the University South Carolina, in two of the first three road games of the season.
The Catamounts will play two closed scrimmages against Division I opponents in lieu of playing an exhibition game this year.
Western Carolina will have a full squad this year as all 15 slots are filled on the roster.
CULLOWHEE, N. C. - Western Carolina Women's Basketball Head Coach Stephanie McCormick today announced the schedule for the 2017-18 season.
The 29-game schedule includes non-conference match-ups with teams from the SEC, Big South, OVC, MEAC, Atlantic-10 and two non-division I teams.
"I'm very pleased with how our 2017-18 schedule has come together," McCormick admitted. "Mostly
Western Carolina opens the season with three straight home games beginning with former Southern Conference foe Davidson on Nov. 10. The Catamounts will complete their opening home slate welcoming mountain rival UNC Asheville on Nov. 12 and closing out with EKU on Nov. 15. The home game against EKU is also designated as Education Day and will be played at noon welcoming area school children to the game.
The Catamounts will face two teams from the Southeastern Conference in two of the first three road games of the season traveling to Georgia days before Thanksgiving on Nov. 21. After a brief trip to UT Martin on Nov. 26, the Catamounts will swing by South Carolina to go up against the NCAA National Champion South Carolina Gamecocks on Nov. 30.
Western Carolina will face three teams that had tremendous success in their perspective conferences with South Carolina winning the SEC Tournament, UNCA winning the Big South Tournament and Radford winning the regular season in the Big South.
After three straight road games, WCU will also host FAMU (Dec. 2), Radford (Dec. 7), South Carolina State (Dec. 16) and Brevard (Dec. 31). After opening SoCon play on the road on Jan. 4 at ETSU, WCU will play a total of six conference games before playing its final non-conference game Jan. 24 hosting Warren Wilson.
Western Carolina's remaining road games include trips to Campbell (Dec. 4), North Carolina A&T (Dec. 19), High Point (Dec. 22) and Gardner-Webb (Dec. 28).
"Our non-conference schedule is perfect for preparing us to take on what is sure to be another strong SoCon schedule," McCormick said. "We jump right in against Davidson for our home-opener on Nov 10. Of course, it's exciting for our players to go to Columbia, S.C. to face South Carolina - one of the greatest women's basketball venues in the country in terms of attendance, and play the National Champions. With this non-conference schedule, we have the opportunity to compete against a variety of playing styles coming from an array of different conferences, several times getting those conference's best teams."
The 2018 Southern Conference Championship will once again take place in Asheville, N.C., at the U.S. Cellular Center March 1-4.
Western Carolina returns 11 starters from the 2016-17 team including All-Conference post player, Sherae Bonner along with her leading scoring partner junior Raziyah Farrington. The Catamounts will also have two players active who took a redshirt last season in Mariah Locklear and Erykah Russell. In addition, the team welcomes two newcomers for the upcoming season in transfers Kennedy Rushin from Gulf Coast Community College and international student-athlete Judith Martin Ruiz from Spain.
"We look forward to another season full of exciting new opportunities as we continue to grow and develop as a team and family," McCormick said." We can't wait to see Catamount Nation come out to support not only our 14-game home slate in the Ramsey
Women's basketball season tickets go on sale Tuesday, Sept. 12. More information on packages and pricing will be made available on CatamountSports.com in early September. For ticketing information call the Catamount Ticket Office at (828) 227-2401. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.CatamountSports.com.