POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Marist women's basketball team will be playing the seven-time national champion University of Connecticut this fall when the Red Foxes participate in the US Virgin Islands Paradise Jam at University of the Virgin Islands in the fall.
The tournament will take place Nov. 22-24, with the Marist-UConn contest taking place on Friday, Nov. 23 at 9:15 p.m. The matchup with the Huskies will come in between games with Purdue, on Thursday, Nov. 22 at 9:15 p.m. and Wake Forest on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 7:00 p.m.
"We are very excited to have the University of Connecticut on our schedule this season," Marist Head Coach Brian Giorgis said. "The amount of success that they have had as a program over the past couple of decades is obvious and playing them can only make our team better. Them, along with Purdue and Wake Forest in the Virgin Islands and the rest of our non-conference schedule continues our recent practice of playing the best competition in the county in non-conference to get ready for our conference schedule."
Marist has played Connecticut three times in their history, dropping all three games. In their most recent matchup, and they only time the two teams have met in Giorgis' tenure, the Red Foxes fell to the Huskies, then ranked ninth in the country, 71-45 in the Preseason WNIT in the first game of the 2005-06 season. In the 1993-94 season, UConn won easily 91-47. In 1985-86, the Red Foxes played their closest game against the Huskies, only falling by nine points, 75-66. All three matchups, while all played in in-season tournaments, took place on Connecticut's home court in Storrs, Conn.
The Huskies are coached by Geno Auriemma, who has the highest winning percentage amongst active Division I coaches at .862 (804-129). Giorgis is currently fourth on the list with a .775 career winning percentage (251-73). Auriemma has been at the helm for UConn for the past 27 years, and has been there for all seven national championships.
The Red Foxes have never faced Purdue or Wake Forest in their history. Last season, the Boilermakers won the Big Ten Tournament and made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament as a number four seed. They reached a national ranking as 12th in the AP Poll. Wake Forest made it to the ACC Semifinals last year before falling to Maryland. They then advanced to the second round of the Women's NIT.
The remainder of Marist's non-conference schedule will be released later this summer. Their conference schedule will not be announced until early in the fall. The Red Foxes went 26-8 overall last season and 17-1 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), winning their ninth straight regular season crown. They defeated Fairfield 61-35 in the MAAC Championship game to win their seventh straight MAAC Title and eighth in the past nine years. They entered the NCAA Tournament as a #13 seed and upset fourth-seeded Georgia of the SEC 76-70 for the program's fifth ever NCAA Tournament victory. They fell in the second round to fifth-seeded St. Bonaventure 66-63.