MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The West Virginia University women’s basketball team will renew acquaintances with rival Virginia Tech, as well as play Butler and Drexel in the 2017 Paradise Jam, held at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands from Nov. 23 through Nov. 25.
“We’re excited to participate once again in the Paradise Jam. We will play three quality opponents, including renewing a rivalry with Virginia Tech,” coach Mike Carey said. “I am excited about the opportunity for our student-athletes to partake in this great tournament in the Virgin Islands.”
The Mountaineers open the three-day tournament on Thursday, Nov. 23, against Butler in the Island Division. The Bulldogs finished 6-25 overall and 2-16 last season in the Big East Conference. BU and WVU meet for the second time, with the Bulldogs winning the previous meeting, 75-59, at the Arkansas Dial Classic on Dec. 4, 1992.
West Virginia and Drexel also will meet for the second time in program history on Friday, Nov. 24. The Dragons won, 78-63, at the Georgia Southern Classic on Jan. 6, 1995. Drexel finished the 2016-17 campaign with a 22-11 overall mark and 11-7 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). The Dragons fell to James Madison, 76-68, in the CAA Tournament semifinals and advanced to the WNIT Second Round before falling, 56-51, to crosstown foe Villanova.
For the first time since 2006, the Mountaineers and Hokies will meet on the hardwood on Saturday, Nov. 25. VT holds an 11-5 edge in the all-time series and won the last matchup, 60-56, over the Mountaineers in the Basketball Travelers Classic in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Nov. 13, 2006. On Feb. 10, 2004, coach Carey recorded his first top-25 victory at West Virginia with a 69-66 win over the No. 21-ranked Hokies at the WVU Coliseum.
In his first season at the helm of the program, coach Kenny Brooks led Virginia Tech to a 15-0 mark and as high as a No. 15 national ranking to open the 2016-17 season. Virginia Tech concluded the year with a 20-14 mark and a 4-12 record in ACC play. VT advanced to the WNIT quarterfinals after collecting wins over Rider (76-62), Navy (75-64) and Penn State (64-55). VT fell to eventual WNIT champion Michigan, 80-62, in the quarterfinal round.
The Mountaineers are competing in the Paradise Jam for the third time. WVU went 3-0 in 2010, winning the Island Division with victories over Iowa State, TCU and Virginia. The Mountaineers finished 2-1 in 2003, placing second in the St. John Division with wins over Georgia Tech and James Madison and a loss to Southwest Missouri State.
The women’s tournament will take place Thursday, Nov. 23 through Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. The tournament fields includes Butler, Drexel, George Washington, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The women’s tournaments feature two four-team divisions competing in round-robin play for separate tournament championships. Game times and viewing options will be announced at a later date. All games will be played at the Sports and Fitness Center at the University of the Virgin Islands campus. The $11-million Sports and Fitness Center was built in 2001 with a capacity of 3,500, and recently underwent renovations including a new hardwood floor, new scoreboard and fiber-optic internet connectivity.
WVU Paradise Jam Island Division Schedule
Nov. 23 – West Virginia vs. Butler
Nov. 24 – West Virginia vs. Drexel
Nov. 25 – West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech