Head coach Beryl Piper and the Central Connecticut women's basketball team announced the non-conference portion of its schedule on Tuesday. The 10-game slate finalizes the Blue Devils' 2018-19 schedule following the release of the Northeast Conference program last week. Central will have a total of 13 home games, including four contests during the non-conference portion of the schedule.
The Blue Devils will tip off the season on Tuesday, Nov. 6, against Brown in Providence, RI, before welcoming Lehigh to Detrick Gymnasium on Saturday, Nov. 10, for their home-opener. Following the home-opener, CCSU will play three road games. Traveling to Rutgers (Nov. 12), UMass (Nov. 17), and Morgan State (Nov. 26).
Central will host three home contests in December beginning with Buffalo on Saturday, Dec. 1. CCSU will host New Hampshire on Friday, Dec. 16, and close out the non-league slate against Hartford on Friday, Dec. 28. The Blue Devils will have away contests at Albany (Dec. 5) and Yale (Dec. 20) during the month as well.
Piper is set to lead CCSU into her 12th season at the helm. She has posted the most Division I wins in program history and ranks second on the program's all-time wins list. Piper has guided the Blue Devils to a pair of WNIT appearances (2009, 2015) and the NEC semifinals on five occasions. A graduate of Central Connecticut, Piper is a member of the CCSU Alumni Athletics Hall of Fame and was honored with the Harrison J. Kaiser Alumni Service Award in 2018.
Central will be bolstered by the returning leadership of its group of four seniors; Denisha Gardener, Sydney Hines, Andi Lydon, and Kiana Patterson. Patterson earned All-NEC Second Team honors last season after leading the team in scoring and assists. Lydon led the team in rebounding and was second in scoring. Gardener played in 29 games and led the team in offensive rebounding, while Hines played in 28 games and shot 89.5 percent from the foul line.
"This group has played a lot of minutes and are key components to what we've done the past few years," Piper said of the example set by the seniors. "They've done an outstanding job setting the tone of who we are going to be as a team. Our newcomers have shown a phenomenal work ethic and will be ready to play as well."
"We were a much better team as the season went along last year and will be looking to get some wins early and build momentum," Piper remarked on the Blue Devils' goals heading ino the season. Central has advanced to the NEC Tournament in five of the past six seasons, including each of the last four seasons.
The Blue Devils will open NEC play at Sacred Heart on Saturday, Jan. 5, before returning home to host Wagner on Monday, Jan. 7. CCSU will close the regular-season with four of its final five games at home. The Northeast Conference Tournament will be held at campus sites on March 11, 14 and 17.
Season ticket information for the men's and women's basketball season will be available at a later date.