DAVIS, Calif. -- Nine-time defending NCAA National Champion Connecticut kicks-off a regular-season schedule that also features a pair of Pacific-12 Conference powers and a slate of 15 home contests for the UC Davis women's basketball program during the 2014-15 campaign, Head Coach Jennifer Gross announced.
"This is going to be an exciting season as we face some of the nation's top teams as well as a number of regional rivals," Gross said. "We are thrilled to kick off our season by hosting UConn opening night and look forward to the challenge of facing the reigning national champs. The atmosphere in The Pavilion is going to be electric. This will be a special night, not only for our UC Davis fans, but for Northern California's entire basketball community. "
In what will most-likely be a clash against the nation's top-ranked team at The Pavilion on Nov. 14, the Huskies return the Aggies' 2013 visit to Hartford, Conn., as part of a West Coast trip that includes a meeting against long-time rival Stanford in Palo Alto on Nov. 17. Should it hold the top spot to start the year, Connecticut will be the first No. 1 team to visit Davis since the top-ranked Cardinal visited the Aggies on Nov. 30, 2012.
Including an exhibition against Sonoma State on Nov. 7, UC Davis plays six of its first seven games within the friendly confines of its home arena, with the seventh just a short 20-mile jaunt across the Causeway to take on rival Sacramento State on Nov. 18 in the second game of the regular season.
Home games against Saint Mary's (Nov. 22), Utah Valley (Nov. 26), Pacific (Nov. 29), and San Francisco (Dec. 2), follow to close out the home stand, with the games against the Wolverines and Tigers part of doubleheaders with the Aggies' men's team (which faces Utah State and Utah Valley, respectively, on those dates) around the Thanksgiving holiday.
A five-game December road swing follows, opening with a two-day tournament test in the altitude of Colorado Springs, Colorado, hosted by the Air Force Academy (Dec. 5-6) and against a field that also includes Santa Clara and Southern Utah. Away dates at Bay Area rival San Jose State (Dec. 10) and Pacific-12 Conference powers Arizona State (Dec. 13) and Stanford (Dec. 22) close out the trip around finals exams prior to the holiday break.
"This is a challenging schedule that will help prepare us for a tough and competitive Big West Conference," Gross said. "In addition to UConn, road games at Stanford and Arizona State will enable us to see where we stack up against some of the West Coast's top programs. We have also developed some great rivalries against teams in Northern California and are excited for those match ups as well."
After ringing in the New Year, the Aggies welcome Menlo College to The Pavilion on Jan. 3 as part of a third doubleheader with the men's team (which faces Cal Maritime), serving as the final non-conference warm-up for UC Davis before opening Big West Conference action on the road at CSUN (Jan. 8) and Long Beach State (Jan. 10).
UC Riverside opens the Aggies' home league schedule on Jan. 15 as part of a three-game homestand that includes Cal State Fullerton (Jan. 17) and Hawai'i (Jan. 22).
After advancing to the quarterfinals last year, UC Davis returns to Southern California for the 2015 Big West Tournament, which begins on March 10 in Fullerton, Calif. Titan Gym serves as the host site for the first two rounds before moving to the Honda Center in Anaheim for the semifinals (March 13) and championship game (March 14).
"There has been so much parity in the Big West over the last few years and I don't see that changing this season," Gross said. "This year we have added five talented freshmen to a focused and motivated veteran group. We have high expectations for the 2014-15 season and we cannot wait to get started."
The NCAA Tournament begins on March 20 with the first round at the campus sites of the top 16 seeds. The national champion will be crowned at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Florida on April 7.
2014-15 UC DAVIS WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Nov. 7 vs. Sonoma State (exhibition), 7 p.m.
Nov. 14 vs. Connecticut, 7 p.m.
Nov. 18 at Sacramento State, 7 p.m.
Nov. 22 vs. Saint Mary's, 2 p.m.
Nov. 26 vs. Utah Valley (DH), 4:45 p.m.
Nov. 29 vs. Pacific (DH), 2 p.m.
Dec. 2 vs. San Francisco, 7 p.m.
Dec. 5 at Air Force Tournament (Air Force, Santa Clara, Southern Utah, UC Davis), Time TBA
Dec. 6 at Air Force Tournament (Air Force, Santa Clara, Southern Utah, UC Davis), Time TBA
Dec. 10 at San Jose State, 7 p.m.
Dec. 13 at Arizona State, 2 p.m.
Dec. 22 at Stanford, 7 p.m.
Jan. 3 vs. Menlo College (DH), 2 p.m.
Jan. 8 at CSUN*, 7 p.m.
Jan. 10 at Long Beach State*, 2 p.m.
Jan. 15 vs. UC Riverside*, 7 p.m.
Jan. 17 vs. Cal State Fullerton*, 2 p.m.
Jan. 22 vs. Hawai'i*, 7 p.m.
Jan. 29 at Cal Poly*, 7 p.m.
Jan. 31 at UC Santa Barbara*, 2 p.m.
Feb. 5 vs. CSUN*, 7 p.m.
Feb. 7 vs. UC Irvine*, 2 p.m.
Feb. 12 at Cal State Fullerton*, 7 p.m.
Feb. 19 vs. Long Beach State*, 7 p.m.
Feb. 21 at Hawai'i*, 7 p.m. HT
Feb. 26 vs. Cal Poly*, 7 p.m.
Feb. 28 vs. UC Santa Barbara*, 2 p.m.
March 5 at UC Riverside*, 7 p.m.
March 7 at UC Irvine*, 2 p.m.
March 10-14 at Big West Conference Tournament (Fullerton & Anaheim, Calif.)
March 20-23 at NCAA First & Second Rounds (Campus Sites of Top 16 Seeds)
March 28-31 at NCAA Regionals (Albany, N.Y.; Greensboro, N.C.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Sacramento, Calif.)
April 5 & 7 at NCAA Final Four (Tampa, Fla.)
* Big West Conference game
(DH) denotes doubleheader with the UC Davis men's basketball team
All times Pacific unless otherwise noted... Dates and times subject to change... home games listed in BOLD