Road contests in the state of Nebraska against Creighton and the University of Nebraska, a Thanksgiving tournament in Reno, Nev., and a matchup with three-time national champion Louisiana Tech highlight the University of Utah women's basketball team's 2014-15 regular-season non-conference schedule. Utah head Coach Anthony Levrets announced the schedule on Thursday.
The Utes will face four teams that qualified for postseason tournament berths to prepare for an always challenging Pac-12 Conference schedule.
"We are looking forward to playing our non-conference schedule," Levrets said. "We are going to be facing a lot of quality opponents who will prepare us for our Pac-12 schedule. There is a good mixture of home, road, and neutral-site games that will hopefully have us ready for a run into the postseason."
After an exhibition against Alaska Anchorage (Nov. 5) and their regular-season opener against San Jose State (Nov. 14) in Salt Lake City, the Utes travel to Nebraska for a pair of road tests against teams that advanced to the second round of postseason play in 2013-14. Utah takes on BIG EAST Conference opponent Creighton (Nov. 20), who defeated Missouri in the first round of last season's WNIT. The Utes then head to Lincoln, to face Nebraska (Nov. 23) of the Big Ten Conference. The Cornhuskers, who beat Utah 75-69 in the Jon M. Huntsman Center last season, reached the NCAA Tournament Second Round and welcome back four starters from last season's squad.
Utah closes out its four-game road swing Nov. 28-29 in the Nevada Tournament. Levrets squad will first face off against Ole Miss (Nov. 28). Bracket play will determine the Nov. 29 opponent with Portland and the host Wolf Pack as the other participants.
The Utes return to Salt Lake City to begin a six-game homestand in the Huntsman Center, hosting Utah State (Dec. 3), UNLV (Dec. 6), and Idaho State (Dec. 10) before the annual rivalry with BYU (Dec. 13). The Cougars reached the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in 2013-14, but in last season's head-to-head meeting in Provo, the Utes handed the Cougars their first loss of the season, 82-74 in double overtime.
The non-conference portion of the schedule wraps up with a pair of home contests against Louisiana Tech (Dec. 20) and UNC Charlotte (Dec. 29). The Lady Techsters are a traditional power with over 1,000 wins in school history, 13 Final Four appearances, and three national titles, while the 49ers qualified for the WNIT last season.
Utah welcomes back three starters from last season in addition to the return of senior forward Taryn Wicijowski, who was sidelined during 2013-14 with an ACL injury.
The Pac-12 schedule, as well as television broadcast details, are expected to be released no later than Sept. 1.