AZUSA, Calif. -- The Azusa Pacific women's basketball 2013-14 schedule was released with the Cougars entering their second season in the Pacific West Conference. The schedule features 20 conference games and six non-conference matchups, two of which come against 2012-13 NCAA Division II tournament teams.
“I think it’s a schedule that will challenge and prepare us for conference play. We’re playing teams that won’t only vie for league championships, but compete at a national level. It’ll be a test for us, and will definitely get the girls ready to compete in a balanced PacWest,” said head coach T.J. Hardeman.
Azusa Pacific opens the year with a road game against Cal Poly Pomona on Nov. 16 before hosting the Crossover Classic, a two-day tournament on Nov. 22 and 23, where the Cougars will take on Western Washington and Seattle Pacific. The Cougars lost to both teams at last year's Crossover Classic in Bellingham Wash., which ended in a heart-breaking 76-74 overtime loss to Seattle Pacific. Western Washington went on to reach the final four of the NCAA Division II national tournament.
The following weekend, the Cougars travel to La Jolla for a pair of games against Cal State San Bernardino and UC San Diego, which is also competing in the Crossover Classic and qualified for the NCAA Div. II tournament last year.
PacWest play begins on Dec. 5 against Dominican. The Cougars will again play Dominican on Jan. 14 at home and the conference road slate will be highlighted at Academy of Art on Feb. 27 in San Francisco. Azusa Pacific, which finished half a game behind Academy of Art in the conference standings last year, pulled out a narrow 74-73 win in their only meeting against an Urban Knights team that won the inaugural PacWest Conference Tournament to qualify for the Division II playoffs.
Azusa Pacific will sandwich its Hawai`i trip with two games against the 2012-13 PacWest regular season champion California Baptist on Jan. 24 and Feb. 8. The Lancers won all three contests against the Cougars last season, although the Cougars still lead the all-time series history 57-33.
While in Hawai`i, Azusa Pacific will play BYU-Hawaii, Hawai`i Pacific, and Chaminade. The Cougars will play Hawai`i Pacific again at home on February 15. The Sea Warriors reached the conference tournament final last year and finished the regular season in second place. Last year, Hawai`i Pacific defeated the Cougars in overtime in their only contest.
The Cougars will wrap up the regular season on March 1 in Oakland with their second matchup against Holy Names.
The National Christian College Athletics Association national championships will be held in Winona Lake, Ind. beginning on March 19.