FILE PHOTO: CHRIS BIEN/THE HOYA Senior guard Sugar Rodgers is expected to lead the Hoyas in the upcoming season.
Senior guard Sugar Rodgers is expected to lead the Hoyas in the upcoming season.

First-year women’s basketball Head Coach Keith Brown has already lost seven players to graduation and one to transfer. The nonconference schedule isn’t making his job any easier.

The team’s 2012-13 nonconference schedule, released Friday, features no shortage of stiff competition for the Blue and Gray. Highlights include an early home game against LSU, a December road game at Penn State and a likely showdown with Delaware in the preseason Women’s National Invitational Tournament.

The Hoyas will kick off their season at McDonough Arena, facing off against Sacred Heart on Nov. 9 in the WNIT’s first round. Barring major upsets, they will enter the second round as underdogs to superstar senior Elena Delle Donne and the Blue Hens of Delaware. The 6-foot-5 forward is looking to improve on a spectacular 2011-12 campaign, in which she led the nation in scoring and Delaware finished 31-2.

After the WNIT, Georgetown will play host to LSU on Nov. 19. The Lady Tigers beat the Hoyas in Baton Rouge last season, 51-40, en route to a 24-11 mark and fourth-place finish in the competitive Southeastern Conference.

Thanksgiving break will see the Hoyas travel to the Golden State for a two-game tournament hosted by UC-Berkeley. The Golden Bears reached the NCAA tournament last year and advanced to the second round with an 84-74 win over Iowa.

After the break, Georgetown will play host to La Salle before embarking on a three-game road trip that culminates with a match against Penn State in State College, Pa. The Nittany Lions boasted a 26-7 record last season and advanced to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16. The Blue and Gray will also face Monmouth and George Washington during the three-game stretch.

The Hoyas will close out their nonconference slate with a three-game homestand against South Dakota State, Yale and soon-to-be Big East member Temple. The Dec. 28 game against Yale will be the first time the two squads have faced off since 1982.

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