Joanne P. McCallie released the 2013 non-conference schedule on July 2. Entering her seventh season with the Blue Devils, McCallie has guided Duke to four straight ACC regular season titles, three ACC Championships and four consecutive NCAA Elite Eight appearances, while posting a 174-35 record.DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University women’s basketball head coach
“We are really, really excited for our 2013 non-conference schedule,” McCallie commented. “Without a doubt this is the most difficult schedule that we have faced in the six years I have been at Duke – relative to the start, middle and finish.”
The nonconference slate includes eight teams that advanced to the 2013 NCAA Tournament – Connecticut, California, Vanderbilt, Purdue, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Central Michigan and Kansas. The list includes two NCAA Final Four participants in California and defending NCAA Champion Connecticut.
The home schedule is highlighted by seven contests against Connecticut, Vanderbilt, Purdue, Alabama, USC Upstate, Albany and Old Dominion.
Duke will open the season against 2013 NCAA Final Four participant California on Sunday, Nov. 10, which will be a homecoming contest for senior Chelsea Gray. A product of Manteca, Calif., Gray is a two-time All-America selection and enters her final year at Duke needing 157 assists to set a new Blue Devil career record for dishes.
“We are thrilled to head out West to open the season with California,” McCallie said. “They are a terrific team, obvious a NCAA Final Four team. That will be a great opportunity for us to take senior Chelsea Gray home.”
The Blue Devils will host USC Upstate on Thursday, Nov. 14 in the home opener in Cameron Indoor Stadium, which will kick off a three-game homestand for Duke. On Sunday, Nov. 17, Duke will welcome Alabama and then will host Vanderbilt on Thursday, Nov. 21.
Duke enters the 2013-14 campaign with a 20-game winning streak at home in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
On Sunday, Nov. 24, the Blue Devils will travel to Marquette, before traveling to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands to compete in the Paradise Jam. Duke will face Xavier, Central Michigan and Kansas on Nov. 28-30 in the tropical destination.
“We are also very excited to go back to the Paradise Jam for the second time in my tenure at Duke,” McCallie commented. “We will play some excellent teams down there as it is a special experience to take a team to the islands. It is a different culture as well as some great competition.”
Duke will return home to face Purdue in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Thursday, Dec. 5 and then will hit the road for Oklahoma on Sunday, Dec. 8. The trip will take senior Richa Jackson home as she is from Midwest City, Okla.
“It is a real honor and privilege to take senior Richa home to Oklahoma,” said McCallie. “After all that has taken place in that great state and after all that they have been through during the most horrific tornado I have seen covered. It is an honor for us to come to Oklahoma, bring Richa home and to give people in the community an opportunity to support her.”
“It is a great time to be a part of women’s basketball at Duke,” McCallie said. “It is a special time with the expansion of the conference. We are looking forward to trying to take full advantage of those great competitors in every game we play.”
Following exam break, Duke will host the Jimmy V Women’s Basketball Classic on Tuesday, Dec. 17 against Connecticut in a contest that will be aired on ESPN2. The Blue Devils will host Albany On Dec. 19 before traveling to Kentucky on Sunday, Dec. 22.
Following a break for the Christmas holiday, Duke will close the non-conference portion of the schedule with a home contest against Old Dominion on Thursday, Jan. 2.
The Blue Devils will also feature two home exhibition contests on Oct. 30 against Glenville State College and on Nov. 3 versus Coker College.
Duke, which notched a 33-3 record this past season, will return five starters in 2013-14, including 93.7 percent of its scoring. The Blue Devils welcome back All-America selections Chelsea Gray and Elizabeth Williams along with All-ACC performers Tricia Liston and Haley Peters. Freshman All-America and ACC Tournament MVP Alexis Jones is the final returning starter for Duke. A total of 11 letterwinners will return to the squad next season as McCallie enters her seventh year at Duke.
Season tickets for the 2013-14 campaign are currently on sale at www.GoDuke.com/tickets or by calling the Duke Ticket Office at (919) 681-BLUE.