NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A historic appearance in the Preseason WNIT, trips to the states of Florida and Ohio, and the chance to play in the Ivy League Tournament at John J. Lee Amphitheater highlight the 2018-19 Yale women's basketball schedule, which was announced Friday. The season starts Tuesday, Nov. 6 with the Bulldogs hosting Colgate.
Following the Colgate game, the Bulldogs make their first Preseason WNIT appearance with a game at Northern Illinois Nov. 8. The tournament, in its 25th year, runs from Nov. 8 through Nov. 18 and includes 16 teams. The field features nine teams that advanced to postseason tournaments last year, including three that made the NCAA Tournament (Marquette, Miami and Nicholls State).
Yale's non-league schedule also includes trips to Florida and Ohio, along with a variety of local opponents. The Bulldogs have 14 regular season Ivy League games, starting at Brown on Jan. 18. Those games provide a chance to earn a spot as one of the four teams in the Ivy League Women's Basketball Tournament, which takes place at Lee Amphitheater for the first time. The semifinal games are on Mar. 16 and the championship game -- which determines the team that receives the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament -- takes place on Mar. 17.
This is Yale's fourth season with Allison Guth as the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball. The Bulldogs return four of the seven players who averaged 20 or more minutes per game last year, when Yale set the school record for victories (19) and became the first Ivy League women's basketball team to win a national post-season tournament (the WBI Championship).
Here is a breakdown of the schedule for 2018-19, Yale's 46th varsity season:
- Yale's regular-season schedule consists of at least 29 games. That includes 14 games against Ivy League opponents -- one home and one away against each of the seven other schools (Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn and Princeton).
- The regular-season schedule includes at least 15 non-conference games. In addition to the Ivy League, Yale plays games against teams from:
- The America East Conference (at Vermont Dec. 8)
- The American Athletic Conference (at Cincinnati Nov. 21)
- The Atlantic 10 Conference (vs. Saint Louis at FAU Dec. 4)
- The Big East Conference (at Providence Nov. 29, at St. John's Dec. 6)
- The Horizon League (at Youngstown State Nov. 24)
- The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (vs Saint Peter's Dec. 4)
- The Mid America Conference (at Northern Illinois Nov. 8)
- The Northeast Conference (vs. Central Connecticut Dec. 20, at Wagner Nov. 27)
- The Patriot League (at Army West Point Dec. 11, vs. Colgate Nov. 6)
- Yale may also face a Conference USA opponent (Florida Atlantic) or a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opponent (North Carolina A&T) at the FAU Holiday Classic on December 29.
- Additionally, the Preseason WNIT field includes teams from 16 different conferences. Yale will play at least three games as part of that tournament. The Bulldogs will play four games if they advance to the championship.
- The Preseason WNIT features a three-game guarantee format, and all games are hosted by participating schools at their home facility.
- Winners of the first-round games advance to the second round. If the Bulldogs win at Northern Illinois Nov. 8, on Nov. 11 they will play the winner of the Iowa State-Niagara game.
- Winners of the second-round games advance to the semifinals, which take place on either Nov. 13, 14 or 15. The Preseason WNIT Championship is Nov. 18.
- Losers of the first-round games will be re-grouped into "consolation bracket quads", two four-team pools. Those teams will play two games Nov. 16-17.
- Losers of the second-round games will be placed in another consolation round pool and will play one more game on Nov. 16 or 17.
- Yale plays games in at least 11 different states (Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont). Six of Yale's student-athletes have at least one game in their home state this year.
- There are at least 10 home games on the regular season schedule.
- On Saturday, Mar. 9 vs. Princeton, Yale will celebrate Senior Day, as the Bulldogs pay tribute to the two members of the Class of 2019: forward Alexandra Maund (Dorchester, Mass.) and guard Gabby Nelson (Hurst, Texas).
- The Ivy League Women's Basketball Tournament takes place at Lee Amphitheater for the first time this year. On Saturday, Mar. 16, the No. 1 seed plays the No. 4 seed in one semifinal game, and the No. 2 seed plays the No. 3 seed in the other semifinal game. The winners face each other for the championship on Sunday, Mar. 17.
While the team that finishes the regular season with the best conference record will be declared the Ivy League champion, the winner of the Ivy League Tournament receives the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
The Ivy League Men's Basketball Tournament takes place at the same location on those days.
- The NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Selection Show takes place on Monday, Mar. 18. The field of 64 will be announced on that day. Tournament competition starts with two rounds at the sites of the top 16 seeds Mar. 22-25. Regionals take place Mar. 29-Apr. 1 at four sites (Albany, N.Y.; Chicago, Ill.; Greensboro, N.C.; Portland, Ore.). The Final Four and Championship take place Apr. 5 and 7 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.
- Live stats and video of all home games, and road games where applicable, are scheduled to be available via links on yalebulldogs.com. All home games, and Ivy League road games, will be available on ESPN+ or ESPN3.
- The schedule is subject to change. Check yalebulldogs.com for updates.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity