Seven America East Women's Basketball Teams Open Season Friday
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Friday marks the beginning of the 2012-13 college basketball season and seven America East teams take the court in non-conference action.
The season begins at 2:30 p.m. with Maine taking on Auburn as part of the Sheraton Raleigh Wolfpack Invitational in Raleigh, N.C. The Black Bears and Tigers will be meeting for the first time. Maine boasts the youngest roster in the country with nine freshmen and a total of 10 years of playing experience between the four returners.
The day continues at 5:30 p.m. with UMBC traveling to take on local rival Morgan State. It is the second-straight season the Retrievers will open against the Lady Bears. UMBC holds a 12-9 advantage in the all-time series, including a 72-50 win last year.
Vermont faces a tough test against reigning MAAC Champion Marist in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPN3 and available via WatchESPN. It is the fourth meeting between the Red Foxes and the Catamounts. Marist has a 2-1 advantage in the series, including a win the last time the teams met in 2010, 76-49.
Boston University, the 2011-12 America East regular-season champion, starts the game with three-straight home games, beginning with cross-town rival Boston College at 7:00 p.m. Friday. The Terriers return reigning America East Player of the Year Chantell Alford, along with fellow Preseason All-Conference selection Mo Moran.
Hartford welcomes Loyola (Md.) to start the season for a 7 p.m. tip. The Hawks finished third in the conference regular-season last year and return 10 players including all five starters. It is just the third meeting between the Hawks and the Greyhounds. The last time came in 2006 with Hartford winning 65-49.
Stony Brook also starts the season at home, with Rider coming to Pritchard Gym for a 7:00 p.m. game. The Seawolves were one of the best defensive teams in the country last season, holding opponents to just 55.7 points per game.
Reigning America East Champion Albany plays the night cap as part of the doubleheader with the men's team. The Great Danes host Fordham at 8:30 p.m. at SEFCU Arena and will raise the America East Championship banner in a pregame ceremony.
UMBC at Morgan State, 5:30 p.m.