Joanne P. McCallie released the 2012-13 nonconference schedule on Thursday. Entering her sixth season with the Blue Devils, McCallie has guided Duke to three straight ACC regular season titles and NCAA Elite Eight appearances, while posting a 141-32 record over the last five years.DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University women’s basketball head coach
“It’s always exciting to continue the great tradition of playing outstanding teams and also having terrific diversity to the schedule,” said McCallie. “This year is no different as we will be tested game in and game out as we prepare for the challenging ACC schedule.”
The nonconference slate includes four teams that advanced to the 2012 NCAA Tournament – Connecticut, St. John’s, California and Michigan. The home schedule is highlighted by six contests against Connecticut, California, Presbyterian, Iona, Valparaiso and Monmouth.
The Blue Devils will open the season with three straight home games in Cameron Indoor Stadium against Presbyterian (Nov. 17), Iona (Nov. 18) and Valparaiso (No. 23). Since taking over the helm at Duke, McCallie has guided the Blue Devils to a 70-5 mark at home, including a 30-game win streak versus league opponents.
Duke will next hit the road for two straight road contests at Xavier on Nov. 25 and at Michigan on Nov. 28. The Michigan contest will be a part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The Blue Devils will return home to host California on Dec. 2 and then travel to New York, N.Y., to face St. John’s in the Maggie Dixon Classic, which will be played at the historic Madison Square Garden. It will mark the second time in Coach P’s six years that the Blue Devils will play in the Maggie Dixon Classic as Duke defeated Pittsburgh, 51-49, on Dec. 8, 2007.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be invited to play in the Maggie Dixon Classic,” commented McCallie. “We’re very, very excited about competing in the classic once again. St. John’s is a wonderful team as we all have seen recently. It will be a great opportunity for us to be in New York and be around some great Duke alumni. To be a part of an incredible event for a very special person, we feel great about that and it will prepare us well for the ACC.”
Following a break for exams, Duke will take Chloe Wells and Chelsea Gray back home to the state of California for the Trojan Classic, which will be hosted by Southern California. The Blue Devils will face CSU-Bakersfield on Dec. 21 and then take on either Southern California or UC Davis on Dec. 22.
“We’ve been really excited about our ability to take people home, after just coming off a summer where we took Allison Vernerey back to France,” said McCallie. “Continuing that theme and taking Chelsea and Chloe back to California is very important to us. It’s important to us for the student-athletes at Duke and it’s also very important to us for with recruiting. We’re quite pleased that it worked out, especially seeing as it’s before Christmas and it gives them a chance to stay home after those games.”
After the Christmas holiday, Duke will host Monmouth on Dec. 30 and then close its non-conference action on Jan. 21 at Connecticut. The contest will be a part of ESPN’s Big Monday and will be aired live on ESPN2 at 7:00 p.m.
All home games are played in the historic Cameron Indoor Stadium. For ticket information, contact the Duke Ticket Office at (919) 681-2583 or 1-877-375-3853. You can also purchase tickets online at www.GoDuke.com.
As a team, Duke returns four starters and 10 letterwinners from last year’s team that posted a 27-6 overall record, won the ACC regular season title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. The Blue Devils return 88.7 percent of their scoring from a year ago, including All-America selections Elizabeth Williams and Gray.
Other returning starters include Tricia Liston and Haley Peters, while Vernerey, Jackson, Amber Henson, Ka’lia Johnson and Jenna Frush lettered in 2011-12. Wells, who is out of Colton, Calif., returns for the Blue Devils, after missing the second semester last year.
“It’s really special to have the time we did on the DWB European Tour,” said McCallie. “The chemistry, the travel, the incredible experiences and Allison in particular with her family, that’s going to bleed through the season in a very, very good way. We feel like we’ve got certain things done and certain things started. Our mile-and-a-half run was extremely successful. We did that before the tour, so now we’re able to take some time to recover and then really come at it with intensity in mid-September.”
Duke welcomes a solid recruiting class that includes McDonald’s All-America selections Sierra Moore and Alexis Jones along with center Katie Heckman.
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