HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Over the past three years the Coker College women's basketball team has taken on some rather large opponents; Kentucky, Tennessee and Duke, but this year the Cobras will up the stakes by opening the 2014-15 season with a pair of exhibitions against two of the top teams in the Southeastern Conference, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.
The Cobras will open the season by traveling to Columbia, S.C. to take on the University of South Carolina Gamecocks in an exhibition on Sunday, Nov. 2. Then they will then hit the road to Nashville, Tenn. for another exhibition game, this time against the Commodores of Vanderbilt University on Saturday, Nov. 8.
"We are extremely excited about our schedule this season," said Coker head coach Jenny Finora. "Taking on South Carolina and Vanderbilt is going to be a great start to the year, and an unbelievable experience for our team. As two of the top teams in the SEC and in the nation, these games should give us the preparation we need for a successful second season in the South Atlantic Conference."
In the season opener against, the Cobras will be facing a Gamecock squad that went 29-5 last season and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. They were the 2014 SEC Champions and finished the season as the No. 9 team in the nation.
After facing off against South Carolina the women will take on the Commodores of Vanderbilt. In 2014, the Commodores went 18-13 advancing to the First Round of the NCAA Tournament for the 15th consecutive season. They finished eighth in the SEC regular season standings, and have a young squad; six freshmen, three sophomores and three juniors, on tap for the 2014-15 season.
Following their exhibition games against South Carolina and Vanderbilt, the Cobras begin regular-season action by hosting the SAC/Conference Carolinas Challenge on Nov. 14-15. The women will take the floor in Coker's brand new, state-of-the-art, 1,908-seat Harris E. and Louise H. DeLoach Center at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 14 against Belmont Abbey College. They will then take on Limestone College at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 15.
In addition to their 22 South Atlantic Conference games, the Cobras will take on six non-conference opponents during the season; Belmont Abbey (Nov. 14), Limestone (Nov. 15), UNC Pembroke (Dec. 3), Georgia Regents-Augusta (Dec. 15), Lees-McRae (Dec. 17) and Pfeiffer (Dec. 20).
Last season, the Cobras went 12-15 overall and were 10-12 in the SAC, advancing to the quarterfinals of the SAC Women's Basketball Tournament. With six seniors returning, the women have a strong base of leadership both on and off the court heading into the 2014-15 season.
"We are definitely excited about this season," said Finora. "We have a strong group of players returning, we are taking on two big-time Division I programs to start the year and the best part, we get to play in a brand new arena. It is a great time to be a part of Coker women's basketball."
Fans will be able to watch all Coker home games live online through the America One Network and by visiting www.cokercobras.com.