HARTSVILLE, S.C.- With the anticipation of the season right around the corner the Coker College Women's basketball program prepares for a full slate of competition for the 2017-18 season.
Headlined by three exhibition games versus Division I programs, Coker will travel to a hostile Colonial Life Arena on Friday, Nov. 3 to face the reigning NCAA Division I champions, the Gamecocks from the University of South Carolina. On the following day, Nov. 4, the Cobras take the court on the road against another Division I program, the Charlotte 49ers.
"I'm very excited about our 17-18' schedule," women's basketball head coach Shannon Johnson said. "We have three exhibition games with Division I teams and the first is against the NCAA Women's basketball champion University of South Carolina Gamecocks. My friend and role model Dawn Staley, will give us an opportunity to play against the champions."
South Carolina finished the season 33-4 overall and 14-2 in the Southeastern Conference. The Gamecocks, who are led by Dawn Staley, will be back with fury trying to retain their title of SEC and National Champions.
The next night, Nov. 4, Coker will play against the Charlotte 49ers. Charlotte collected a 21-10 overall record in 2016-17 and finished 12-6 in Conference USA play, losing to #4 Louisiana Tech in the quarterfinals. Speaking on the opportunity to face the 49ers, Johnson stated, "We greatly thank Coach Consuegra for the Division I game and experience our program will receive."
The following week the Cobra women will compete in the annual South Atlantic Conference/ Conference Carolinas Challenge Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10-11.
Coker's regular season begins Tuesday, Nov. 14 traveling to Barton College to ball with the Bulldogs at 5:30pm in a non-conference matchup. The Cobras will play four out-of-conference contests; at Barton (Nov. 14), Fayetteville St. (Nov. 18), at Belmont Abbey (Nov. 21) and Southern Wesleyan (Dec. 2).
A third exhibition game will be played against another Division I program with the Phoenix from Elon University, on Monday, Nov. 29. Elon's women finished 27-7 overall and 16-2 in the CAA, where they were crowned champions of the Colonial Athletic Association in 2016-17. While reaching the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Elon was defeated by #6 West Virginia, 75-62.
After the contest with Elon the Cobras will go straight into conference play starting with the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears, taking place on Nov. 29 at 6pm in the Harris. E. and Louise H. DeLoach Center.
Coker's women will play a 23-game regular-season schedule with 19 SAC contests. Last season the Cobras wound up 6-21 overall and 5-17 in conference play.
With six seniors returning for the 2017-18 season, Coker will have a strong base of leadership both on and off the court. Additionally, with the signing of six great players to the Women's basketball team, coach Johnson says, "we are eager to compete in the SAC."