SAN BRUNO, Calif. -- The West Coast Conference announced its 2014-15 women's basketball conference schedule on Tuesday. The race for the WCC regular season crown will be contested over a 10-week span, and consists of a double round-robin format. Conference play is slated to begin on Saturday, December 27, 2014, and will conclude on February 28, 2015.
After a strong 2013-14 campaign that saw half of the membership advancing to the postseason, competition promises to be tough once again in the West Coast Conference. Five teams - BYU (NCAA), Gonzaga (NCAA), Pacific (WNIT), Saint Mary's (WNIT) and San Diego (WNIT) - represented the conference in the postseason, and four teams posted at least 20 victories. BYU marched to the NCAA Sweet-16 where it fell to eventual national champion UConn. During the course of the 2013-14 campaign, no fewer than four teams cracked the national top-25.
The 2014-15 West Coast Conference women's basketball season tips off Saturday, December 27 with eight teams in action for a compelling opening weekend. Defending regular season and tournament champion Gonzaga hosts BYU in a rematch of the 2014 WCC Tournament title game on Saturday in Spokane, Wash. The game against the Cougars will mark the Division I head coaching debut of top Bulldog Lisa Fortier.
Portland will have a new coach on the sidelines for the first time since 1986 when Cheryl Sorenson leads the Pilots into battle against WNIT participant San Diego. Santa Clara will open up the J.R. Payne era when Santa Clara hosts Saint Mary's, the school where Payne earned All-WCC honors as a standout Gael.
All 10 teams compete on Monday, Dec. 29 to close the calendar on 2014. Portland hosts the Cougars in the Rose City while the Bulldogs welcome the Toreros. Pepperdine squares off against longtime SoCal rival Loyola Marymount in a PCH rivalry contest in Malibu, while local rivalries dominate play in the Bay Area with Pacific at Santa Clara and Saint Mary's at San Francisco.
Key games in January include Saint Mary's at BYU and Pacific at San Diego, both on Saturday, Jan. 17, and San Diego at BYU on Saturday, Jan. 24. In February, Santa Clara travels to Gonzaga on Thursday, Feb. 5 and Pacific goes to BYU on Saturday, Feb. 14. Saint Mary's makes its annual trip to Spokane, Wash. to face the Bulldogs on Thursday, Feb. 19. Gonzaga at BYU headlines the schedule on Saturday, Feb. 28, the final day of the regular season, which features all 10 teams in action.
The season culminates at the 2015 West Coast Conference Basketball Championships, which will take place from March 5-10 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
Fans can expect an announcement regarding the full slate of WCC telecasts in the coming month. The complete 2014-15 West Coast Conference women's basketball schedule can be accessed via the link above, but is subject to change.