Basketball Preview: A guide to Women’s out-of-conference competition

No. 3 Rutgers

When: Nov. 18

Last year: 27-9

Postseason activity: Won Big East Conference Championship, lost to Tennessee in NCAA tournament final

Head coach: C. Vivian Stringer, 12th season

Returning starters: Five

The Word: Seniors Matee Avajon and Essence Carson and junior Kia Vaughn were named preseason Wooden Award candidates, an honor given to the top player in women’s basketball. The Scarlet Knights play a very difficult out-of-conference schedule and this game will be one of the biggest early-season tests for both squads.

No. 11 Texas A&M

When: Dec. 20

Last year: 25-7

Postseason activity: Lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament to the Colonials, 59-47

Head coach: Gary Blair, fourth season

Returning starters: Five

The Word: The Aggies finished last year’s regular conference season tied for first in the Big 12, one of the toughest conferences in women’s basketball. Blair is one of GW coach Joe McKeown’s closest friends but there is a good chance Texas A&M will come to Foggy Bottom looking to exact revenge from last season.

Auburn

When: Jan. 3

Last year: 21-13

Postseason activity: Lost to Kansas State in the round of eight in the WNIT

Head coach: Nell Fortner, third season

Returning starters: Five

The Word: The Tigers struggled in conference last season but received votes in the preseason ESPN/USA Today preseason ranking. Junior DeWanna Bonner was named to the Southeastern Conference’s first team and, at 6-foot-4, is a force to be reckoned with. She is also listed as both a guard and forward, which means she likely will be a threat all over.

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