UVM Women's Basketball Hosts 9th Annual Banknorth Classic to Open 2002-2003
Release Date: 11-21-2002
The UVM women's basketball team opens the season Friday, November 22nd hosting the 9th Annual Banknorth Classic...the Catamounts take on Yale at 6:00pm and are followed by Navy vs. Providence at 8:00pm...the consolation and championship games are scheduled for 3:00pm and 5:00pm, respectively, on Saturday, November 23rd...for ticket information please contact the UVM Athletic Ticket Office at 802/656-4410.
FOR OPENERS: For the fourth time in six years, Vermont opens the 2002-2003 season hosting the Banknorth Classic...this season marks the ninth year of the tournament (it used to be held in December)... Vermont is 11-12 all-time in season openers, 5-0 under head coach Keith Cieplicki...in home openers, UVM is 16-7 all-time, having won 12 straight.
HOME SWEET HOME: Vermont owns an all-time record of 186-95 (.662) at Patrick Gymnasium...under Cieplicki, UVM has posted a record of 60-12 (.833) on its home floor...last season the Catamounts went 12-2 (.857) at Patrick...since the 1995-96 season Vermont has posted at least 11 wins on its home court.
A NEW LOOK: The 2002-2003 season marks a new era in UVM women's basketball...for the first time in 122 games Libby Smith will not be on the floor for the Catamounts...the former standout completed her eligibility last season and will graduate in December with a degree in civil engineering...Smith started every game of her career (122 straight) and finished with 1,045 points.
LAROCQUE RETURNS: Junior guard Theresa LaRocque returns to the court for the first time since March 10, 2002...LaRocque sat out last season as a redshirt with an ACL injury...she worked dilligently to rehab her knee and is back as the projected starting point guard for the Catamounts...on another happy note for "T" today is her 21st birthday!
PRESEASON HONORS: The Vermont women's basketball team has been recognized by two different media outlets as one of the top teams in the nation...Vermont earned a #60 ranking in the Basketball News Women's Top 64 and was rated 48th among the nations top 50 teams accroding to the WOMENSCOLLEGEHOOPS.COM Preseason Top 50 Poll ..it is the Catamounts third straight season as a Top 50 pick by WOMENSCOLLEGEHOOPS.COM.
2002 BANKNORTH CLASSIC: Although it has a different name its the same tournament that Vermont has hosted for the past eight years...this season Vermont welcomes Navy, Yale and Providence to Burlington...Vermont faces Yale in the first game (6:00pm), while Navy battles Providence at 8:00pm...the losers will meet in the consolation game on Saturday at 3:00pm...the championship game will follow at approximately 5:00pm...DID YOU KNOW?: Every time Vermont has won the Banknorth Classic (1993, 1997, 1999) the Catamounts have gon on to win the America East Regular Season Championship...UVM is 11-5 in the tournament...its losses are to Alabama, Georgetown, Tennessee, Washington State and Mississippi...senior Dawn Cressman was named the MVP of the Banknorth Classic in 1999,while Morgan Hall was named to the All-Tournament team in 2000.
EXHIBITIONISTS: Vermont played two exhibition games to tune up for the 2002-2003 season...the Catamounts defeated neighboring Saint Michael's College, 98-71, and downed Dalhousie University from Nova Scotia, 91-58.
SCOUTING YALE: The Bulldogs posted an overall record of 14-13 and went 7-7 (T-3rd) in the Ivy League last season...this season, Yale was selected to finish 5th in the 2002-2003 Ivy League Preseason Poll...the Bulldogs warmed up for the 2002-2003 season with a 74-62 victory over Istrobanka of Slovakia in an exhibition game in New Haven...Yale head coach Amy Bakus will look to sophomore Lindsay Page, senior Maria Smear and junior Christina Phillips this season...Page, a 6-1 forward, was the third leading scorer on the squad last season (9.1 ppg) and set a new mark for most points in a single-game, netting 35 versus Albany ...Phillips, a 6-0 forward, set career high in every statistical category last season and Smear, the team captain, is back a full strength after missing much of last season with an injury.
OH CANADA!: The University of Vermont women's basketball program has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success recruiting players from north of the border...Burlington, Vermont is located just 90 minutes away from Montreal, Quebec...the 2002-2003 roster boasts four Canadians: * Chrissy Battram (Parkhill, Ontario) * Dawn Cressman (Guelph, Ontario) * Danielle Sabourin (Sarnia, Ontario) * Aaron Yantzi (Waterloo, Ontario) Overall, there have been 12 Canadians in the Vermont program. Five of UVM's 1,000-point scorers are from Canada, including the top three (Karalyn Church, Sheri Turnbull, Joann McKay).
GRAND SIGHTS: Senior guard Dawn Cressman and junior forward Aaron Yantzi both could reach the 1,000 career point plateau in 2002-2003...Cressman enters her final season just 83 points shy of becoming the 13th Catamount to reach the milestone...Yantzi had an incredible sophomore season and another productive year in 2002-2003 will give her 1,000 career points...the 6-1 forward is 321 points shy of the career mark...junior Morgan Hall reached the 1,000 point mark last season, becoming the fifth player to reach the milestone as a junior and in her 74th game, she was the fourth quickest to the mark.
DOUBLE DIGIT DIVA: Junior forward Aaron Yantzi reached double figures in the scoring column 25 times last season, including the final 18 consecutive games...Yantzi reached double digits just seven times as a freshman...she led the team in scoring (14.0 ppg) last year.
NEWCOMERS: The Catamounts add three newcomers to the team this season...the trio of freshmen include Chrissy Battram, Tricia Freeman and Ilze Zekite...Battram is a 5-8 guard from Parkhill, Ontario and was a four-year letterwinner at North Middlesex District High School, where she averaged 27.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.0 steals per game...she was a two-time all-conference selection and led North Middlesex to the Western Ontario Championship four straight years...Freeman, a 5-11 forward from Scarborough, Maine is reunited with AAU teammate Lani Boardman...Freeman averaged 12.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists at McAuley High School last season...she also led McAuley to a record of 43-2 record over her junior and senior seasons, including an unbeaten 20-0 mark in her final year...Zekite is Vermont's first-ever European player and hails from Riga, Latvia...the 6-3 forward has been a member of the Latvian National Team for the past four years and was a member of the squad that finished fourth at the European Championships this past summer.
FAMILIAR PLACE: Yale head coach Amy Backus knows a little bit about UVM and Vermont Basketball...she served as an assistant coach under former head coach Cathy Inglese during the 1986-87...following that season she went on to serve as head coach at Middlebury College from 1987-1994.
FAN-TASTIC: UVM ranked 61st out of 321 Division I NCAA women's basketball schools in attendance for the 2001-2002 season...it's the fourth straight year Vermont has ranked near the top of the statistical leaders in attendance...Vermont played in front of 25,521 fans at Patrick Gym, averaging 1,823 at home...approximately 50 fans boarded a bus to make the 16-hour drive to Blacksburg, Virginia for UVM's WNIT Quarterfinal game at Virginia Tech...the fans attended the game to cheer on the Catamounts then turned around and headed back to Burlington right after the contest.
SERIES STUFF: Tonight is the just the third meeting between Yale and Vermont...Yale owns a 2-0 lead in the all-time series...the Bulldogs earned a 56-58 victory over the Catamounts in New Haven on Jan. 8, 1985 and downed UVM here at Patrick Gym, 70-60 on Jan. 11, 1986.