BERKELEY – California Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb announced Thursday a challenging 2013-14 non-conference schedule that builds upon the excitement generated from the Golden Bears’ NCAA Final Four appearance last season.
Fresh off a 32-4 season that included the first Pac-12 Regular Season championship in program history, the Bears will take on 11 teams in non-conference play, highlighted by a visit from NCAA Elite Eight participant Duke and a trip to the prestigious Maggie Dixon Classic in New York City to take on defending national champion Connecticut.
“I'm so excited about the quality of our non-conference schedule,” Gottlieb said. “I've said many times that our goal is for Cal Women's Basketball to continually be considered amongst the most elite programs in the country, and a key component will always be to play against the best in big time match ups.”
The Bears open the year with the annual exhibition against Vanguard on November 1. The Vandals made their 12th consecutive NAIA Tournament appearance last season. The regular season opener is scheduled for Friday, November 8, when the Bears take on WNIT participant Long Beach State. The game will serve as part of a doubleheader with the California men’s team, which will open its season against Coppin State.
Cal then welcomes Duke to Haas Pavilion on Sunday, November 10. The Blue Devils advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight last season and have won four consecutive ACC regular season titles.
The Bears then hit the road for the first time with a trip to the nation’s capital where Cal will face off against George Washington (Nov. 15) and Georgetown (Nov. 17), two teams that played at Cal last season. The Hoyas have advanced to the NCAA Tournament three of the last four years, and both teams will provide a challenge in Washington, D.C. A return home to face Northwestern at Haas on November 24 is followed by a Thanksgiving weekend trip to Reno, Nevada, to compete in the Nugget Classic. Cal will face Wake Forest on Friday, November 29, and the other two teams scheduled to compete at the tournament are Nevada and Idaho, an NCAA Tournament squad last season.
December opens up with two consecutive games at Haas Pavilion. New West Coast Conference member Pacific comes to Berkeley on December 7, and new WAC member CSU Bakersfield visits on December 15. The Pacific Tigers went 27-8 last season and advanced to the third round of the WNIT.
A trip to New York City on Sunday, December 22 will have the Bears compete against UConn in the Maggie Dixon Classic. The Huskies, the defending national champions, and Bears will play as the marquee matchup of the doubleheader at Madison Square Garden. It is UConn’s second appearance and Cal’s first appearance at the prestigious event that is in the memory of former Army head coach, Maggie Dixon.
“The opportunity to play UConn in a marquee matchup at the world's best known arena, Madison Square Garden, is an exciting step for our program,” Gottlieb said. “More than anything, however, Cal Women's Basketball is honored to take part in an event that bears Maggie Dixon's name. Maggie was a friend of mine and an inspiration to many. This is the premier event in women's college basketball, and we are very much looking forward to going to New York and taking part.”
The return from New York City sees the Bears host Lafayette of the Patriot League in the non-conference finale at Haas Pavilion on December 29.
“We've worked hard to put together a schedule that will challenge us to get better, that will get us ready for Pac-12 and post-season play, and one that puts our players on the biggest stage,” Gottlieb said of the non-conference schedule. “I think we've achieved that with the likes of UConn, Duke, Northwestern and the D.C. trip amongst others.”
Dates are tentative and are subject to change. The 2013-14 Pac-12 schedule will be released at a later date.
California Women’s Basketball 2013 Non-Conference Schedule
Date Day Opponent Location Nov. 1 Friday Vanguard (EXH) Berkeley, CA Nov. 8 Friday Long Beach State Berkeley, CA Nov. 10 Sunday Duke Berkeley, CA Nov. 15 Friday George Washington Washington, D.C. Nov. 17 Sunday Georgetown Washington, D.C. Nov. 24 Sunday Northwestern Berkeley, CA Nov. 29 Friday Wake Forest# Reno, NV Nov. 30 Saturday TBD# Reno, NV Dec. 7 Saturday Pacific Berkeley, CA Dec. 15 Sunday CSU Bakersfield Berkeley, CA Dec. 22 Sunday UConn$ New York, NY Dec. 29 Sunday Lafayette Berkeley, CA
# - Nugget Classic (Reno, NV) $ - Maggie Dixon Classic (New York, NY)