AZUSA, Calif.-- The 2014-15 Azusa Pacific women’s basketball schedule has been released, with the Cougars playing three non-conference games against teams that qualified for the NCAA Division II tournament last season.
In that stretch Azusa Pacific will host a Cal Poly Pomona team that reached last season’s Division II Final Four following an opener against 2014 NCAA qualifier Cal State Dominguez Hills. Just two of the Cougars’ first nine games are at home, with five against teams coming off of winning seasons.
“The schedule is difficult, and we’ll be tested early. But It will make us stronger and help prepare us for a tough conference. When we put this schedule together we wanted to make sure that it would put us in the best position to compete for a Pacific West Conference championship and qualify for the NCAA tournament,” said head coach T.J. Hardeman.
Three of Azusa Pacific’s first four contests are against teams that played in the NCAA tournament in 2014, while two come against reigning conference tournament champions (Cal Poly Pomona, Western Washington).
The Cougars open the year with home games against California Collegiate Athletics Association opponents Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State Dominguez Hills before a trip to the Northwest for matchups with Seattle Pacific and Western Washington. The following weekend the Cougars will close out their non-conference slate in La Jolla where they’ll face UC San Diego and Cal State San Bernardino at the UCSD Holiday Classic.
Azusa Pacific kicks off PacWest play with five consecutive games on the road, beginning with a Dec. 6 matchup at Fresno Pacific. The Cougars then face Point Loma, Dominican, and Notre Dame de Namur before closing out 2014 against the reigning conference champion, Academy of Art on Dec. 20.
Holy Names will be the Cougars’ opponent in the conference home opener on Jan. 3, kicking off a three-game home stand that includes Dominican and Academy of Art. Following a trip to Dixie State on Jan. 17 Azusa Pacific returns to the Felix Event Center for tilts against Point Loma and Dixie State.
The team’s annual Hawai‘i trip begins at BYU-Hawaii on Jan. 29, followed by games against Hawai‘i Pacific and Hawai‘i Hilo. The Cougars will then wrap up the road schedule at California Baptist on Feb. 7.
Azusa Pacific closes out the regular season with five straight home games, with the finale against Fresno Pacific coming on Feb. 28.
The 2015 Pacific West Conference Tournament will be held at the CU Arena on the campus of Concordia in Irvine on from March 5-7. The winner of the six-team championship will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.