BERKELEY – California Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb announced Wednesday a challenging 2014-15 non-conference schedule of 11 games that includes a rematch in Berkeley of the thrilling 2013 NCAA Final Four game between the Bears and Louisville Cardinals.
“We are excited to release another non-conference schedule full of marquee match ups that are going to be fun for our fans to watch, and critical in terms of getting us ready for Pac 12 and post season play,” Gottlieb said of the 2014-15 non-conference schedule.
The regular season opener is scheduled for Sunday, November 16, when the Bears travel to Stockton to take on the Pacific Tigers, a WNIT participant last season. The home opener will then take place on Tuesday, November 18, against Nevada at Haas Pavilion.
Cal returns to the Hawaiian Islands three days later to compete in a tournament hosted by the Rainbow Wahine that will see the Bears take on two opponents that competed in the WNIT last season. Cal faces the hosts on Friday, November 21, and will take on Missouri on Sunday, November 23, in what will be the first meeting between the two teams.
The return of Cal’s Thanksgiving weekend tournament sees San Jose State, Cincinnati and Creighton visit Haas Pavilion from November 28-29. The Bears and Bay Area rivals San Jose State will play on Friday, and Saturday’s matchup will pit Cal against either the Bearcats or Bluejays. Creighton made it to the WNIT Second Round last season and finished with 20 wins.
“We are fortunate to host a Thanksgiving Tournament, and spend the holiday weekend playing in front of friends, family and our Cal fans,” Gottlieb said. “A tournament filed including San Jose State, Cincinnati and Creighton will provide some incredible competition.”
December opens up with a basketball double-header at Haas Pavilion. Cal will face Sacramento State on Wednesday, December 3, with the men’s basketball team playing Montana the same day. Another road trip follows with a visit to Allen Fieldhouse where the Kansas Jayhawks await on December 7. The final road game of the non-conference season is a trip to Long Beach State on December 13.
The Bears face Elite Eight participant Louisville at Haas Pavilion on Sunday, December 21, in what will be the first meeting between the two teams since Louisville claimed a 64-57 victory over the Golden Bears at the 2013 NCAA Final Four in New Orleans. The Cardinals went 33-5 last season after falling one game short of a second-consecutive Final Four with a loss to Maryland.
“Each and every year, we want to bring one of the nation’s top teams into Haas Pavilion, where we have one of the most exciting college basketball atmospheres you can find,” Gottlieb said. “We are thrilled that Jeff Walz and Louisville will be coming to town, and I know our fans will be ready for a 'Final 4 rematch.’ Most importantly, it’s a game that will garner national attention and allow our players to play on the biggest stage.”
The non-conference season closes with another double-header at Haas Pavilion when the Bears face Old Dominion on Monday, December 29 (changed from the previously announced date of Sunday, Dec. 28). The Monarchs are the sixth team to advance to the postseason on Cal’s schedule after Old Dominion made it to the WNIT Second Round last season.
“Road trips to Kansas and Hawaii will help us to become battle tested against terrific competition away from home,” Gottlieb said. “We have a group that is focused and brings high expectations into the 2014-15 season: this non-conference schedule presents challenges that we are certainly looking forward to.”
Dates are tentative and are subject to change. The 2014-15 Pac-12 schedule will be released at a later date. Cal will also host an exhibition game in early November against an opponent yet to be determined.
California Women’s Basketball 2014 Non-Conference Schedule
Nov. 16 - Pacific (Stockton, CA)
Nov. 18 - Nevada (Berkeley, CA)
Nov. 21 - Hawaii# (Honolulu, HI)
Nov. 23 - Missouri# (Honolulu, HI)
Nov. 28 - San Jose State$ (Berkeley, CA)
Nov. 29 - Cincinnati/Creighton$ (Berkeley, CA)
Dec. 3 - Sacramento State (Berkeley, CA)
Dec. 7 - Kansas (Lawrence, KS)
Dec. 13 - Long Beach State (Long Beach, CA)
Dec. 21 - Louisville (Berkeley, CA)
Dec. 29 - Old Dominion (Berkeley, CA)
# - Hawaii Tournament (Honolulu, HI)
$ - Cal Classic (Berkeley, CA)