TUCSON, AZ - The Wildcats will go up against five NCAA postseason teams from a year ago, including two NCAA Tournament squads, as head coach Niya Butts unveiled Arizona's 2015-16 non-conference schedule on Thursday.
Arizona will play six of its 12-non conference games inside McKale Center, but will open up the regular season on the road for the eighth time in the last nine years, as it will kick off the 2015-16 campaign at Toledo on Nov. 14. The Rockets finished with a 19-14 overall record while advancing to the second round of the WNIT a year ago. These two teams also met in the championship game of the FIU Thanksgiving Classic in 2014.
The Wildcats will take part in their home opener on Nov. 18 against Howard before heading to Southern California to take on a San Diego (Nov. 21) squad that advanced to the second round of the WNIT after compiling a 25-7 record last season, equaling the second-most wins in program history.
Arizona returns to McKale Center on Nov. 23, as it'll clash with Big 12 power Kansas before heading to the Lone Star State to renew its series with North Texas on Nov. 27. The meeting between the Cats and Mean Green will mark the fourth in the last six seasons.
Following the contest in Denton, Arizona will compete in a non-conference-high three consecutive home affairs, with two of the games coming against postseason opponents from a year ago. The Wildcats kick the homestand off with New Mexico State on Dec. 2. The Aggies qualified for the NCAA Tournament last year after capturing both the WAC regular season and tournament championship. Arizona then welcomes in Pacific (2015 WNIT participant) on Dec. 5 before closing out the homestand against Louisiana Tech on Dec. 10.
UA will round out its non-conference road slate with a three-game tournament in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Cats will play three games in three days at the Puerto Rico Classic, taking on SMU on Dec. 19, Florida Gulf Coast on Dec. 20, and Gardner-Webb University on Dec. 21. Florida Gulf Coast is coming off one its best years in program history, as the Eagles recorded a 31-3 overall record, while going a perfect 14-0 in Atlantic Sun play, capturing the regular season and conference tournament crown. FGCU advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Cats wrap up the non-conference slate with a Dec. 29 home contest against George Mason.
The Pac-12 is expected announced the 2015-16 conference pairings toward the end of June.
Five Non-Conference Games to Watch For
Nov. 14 at Toledo- Arizona's season opener…Cats will open up the year on the road for the eighth time in nine years. Game will mark rematch of last year's FIU Thanksgiving Tournament championship game.
Nov. 18 vs. Howard- Arizona's home opener…Cats have won 10 of their last 12 home openers going back to 2003-04 season.
Nov. 23 vs. Kansas – Will represent Arizona's annual "Kids' Day" game…Cats entertained a school-record crowd of 6,268 in last year's "Kids' Day" game vs. UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 25.
Dec. 2 vs. New Mexico State- Arizona hosts the defending WAC regular season and tournament champions…the Aggies return all but one player from last year's championship squad.
Dec. 20 vs. Florida Gulf Coast- The Cats will take on a Florida Gulf Coast squad riding a tremendous amount of momentum from last year, as the Eagles advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after going 21-3 overall and capturing the Atlantic Sun regular season and tournament title. FGCU was ranked as high as No. 20 in the country, while its only three losses came to Auburn, Ohio State, and Florida State.
2015-16 Arizona Women's Basketball Non-Conference Schedule
Date (Day) Opponent
Nov. 10 (Tues.) Eastern New Mexico (McKale Center)- EXHIBITION
Nov. 14 (Sat.) Toledo (Toledo, OH)
Nov. 18 (Tues.) Howard (McKale Center)
Nov. 21 (Sat.) San Diego (San Diego, CA)
Nov. 23 (Mon.) Kansas (McKale Center)
Nov. 27 (Fri.) North Texas (Denton, TX)
Dec. 2 (Tues.) New Mexico State (McKale Center)
Dec. 5 (Sat.) Pacific (McKale Center)
Dec. 10 (Thurs.) Louisiana Tech (McKale Center)
Dec. 19 (Sat.) vs. SMU (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
Dec. 20 (Sun.) vs. Florida Gulf Coast (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
Dec. 21 (Mon.) vs. Gardner-Webb (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
Dec. 29 (Tues.) George Mason (McKale Center)