ORONO, Maine -- The University of Maine women's basketball team has announced its 2014-15 schedule. The Black Bears will host 17 home games, including two exhibitions, and will also travel to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for a neutral site match-up with 2014 Elite-8 participant North Carolina. Maine will welcome Brown University, Boston College and Wright State to the Cross Insurance Center for its Thanksgiving weekend tournament on Nov. 28-29.
"We realize that this is a demanding schedule with some very strong programs represented but our team is looking forward to the challenge," commented head coach Richard Barron. "We are also very pleased to have such a strong field for our non-conference games at the Cross Insurance Center. Season Tickets are a great value and this is a veteran team that will be fun to cheer for. I am excited to build on last year's success and see even bigger crowds at the Cross Insurance Center!"
The Black Bears begin the season with a pair of exhibition contests at home as they will host McGill University on Saturday, Nov. 1 on campus at the historic Memorial Gym before taking on New Brunswick at Cross Insurance Center on Nov. 10.
The regular season officially gets underway on Friday, Nov. 14 when Maine travels to take on Bryant. Maine opens regular season home action on Nov. 16 with a 1 p.m. matinée against Long Island University. The Black Bears return to the road for a contest at UMass on Wednesday, Nov. 19 before returning home to host Sacred Heart, Sunday, Nov. 23 at 1 p.m.
Maine hosts its Thanksgiving Weekend tournament on Nov. 28 and 29. The Black Bears open tournament play on Friday, Nov. 28 with a 3 p.m. showdown against Brown. Maine will then host either Wright State or Boston College the following day at 3:30 p.m.
December play opens with a road date at Central Connecticut State on the third; the place where Coach Barron's Black Bear coaching reign began in 2011. Maine follows the road game with three-straight at Cross Insurance Center. The Black Bears welcome Ivy League member and 2014 WNIT participant Harvard on Dec. 7 for a 2 p.m. contest before hosting fellow Ivy League school Dartmouth on Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. Maine closes out the three-game home streak with a 1 p.m. match-up with Northeastern on Saturday, Dec. 13.
Maine switches gears and returns to the road on Dec. 19 when it meets Atlantic Coast Conference member North Carolina in neutral site action in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The Tar Heels finished last season 27-10 overall after losing in the Elite-8 to Stanford. It will be the Black Bears' first time facing North Carolina since dropping a 62-57 decision in the 2000 NCAA Tournament to the Tar Heels. Following the North Carolina match-up, the Black Bears will travel to William & Mary for a 1 p.m. start on Sunday, Dec. 21.
After the winter break, Maine kicks off America East action when it hosts the defending conference champion Albany Great Danes on Saturday, Jan. 3. Maine steps out of league action on Jan. 7 for a road date at Yale before traveling to Hartford on Saturday, Jan. 10 in a rematch of last season's #4/5 America East tournament match-up in which the Black Bears were defeated in overtime.
Maine hosts UMass Lowell on Wednesday, Jan. 14 before traveling to take on 2014 America East runners-up Stony Brook on Saturday, Jan. 17. The Black Bears return home for a pair of men's and women's hoops doubleheaders, beginning on Monday, Jan. 19 when the women host Binghamton before taking on Vermont on Thursday, Jan. 22.
The Black Bears return to the road at they travel to take on UMBC on Sunday, Jan. 25. Maine hosts border rival New Hampshire on Thursday, Jan. 29 before opening February at Albany on the first. Maine returns to the Cross Insurance Center on Feb. 8 when it hosts Hartford and follows up the home contest with a road game at UMass Lowell on Wednesday, Feb. 11.
Maine welcomes Stony Brook to the Cross Insurance Center on Sunday, Feb. 15 before heading out on the road for a two-game set. The Black Bears travel to Vermont on Wednesday, Feb. 18 and continue road action to the site of the 2015 America East Women's Basketball Championships in Binghamton on Saturday, Feb. 21.
The Black Bears close out home action on Thursday, Feb. 26 against UMBC and end the regular season at New Hampshire on Sunday, March 1.
Maine returns four starters and 10 letter-winners from last season's 17-15 team which went 10-6 in league play and participated in its first post-season tournament since 2005. Maine's 17 wins a year ago were its most since the 2004-05 season.
*Unless otherwise noted, all home games will be held at Cross Insurance Center.