NCAA Auburn BYU Basketball

BYU celebrates during the first half of a first-round game against Auburn in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament in Stanford, Calif. Saturday, March 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Teams from the Pac-12 and the Mountain West Conference, including 10 programs that participated in postseason play last year, highlight the 2019-20 BYU women’s basketball schedule.

“This year we have another very challenging schedule playing four Pac-12 schools and three teams that are at the top of the MWC,” said BYU head coach Jeff Judkins. “We’re looking forward to playing these teams and we hope they help us have a high RPI and get us the experience we need to have a good run into the postseason.”

In the nonconference portion of the schedule, the Cougar women open up the year on the road at Pac-12 foe Washington State on Nov. 9. The Cougars of WSU compiled a 9-21, 4-14 record finishing 10th in league play.

On Nov. 14, BYU opens up its home slate hosting first-time opponent Texas A&M Kingsville. The Javelinas compete in the Lone Star Conference where they finished in ninth place last year with a 6-14 mark after going 9-19 on the season.

BYU takes a short trip to California playing at Fresno State on Nov. 21. After compiling a 15-18, 8-4 record, the Bulldogs played in the first round of the postseason WNIT.

The Cougars return home to host back-to-back in-state rivalry games against Utah State on Nov. 26 and Utah on Nov. 29. The Aggies played in the Women’s Basketball Invitational after recording a 17-16, 10-8 record including a fifth place finish in the MWC. Utah finished last year’s season with a 20-10, 9-9 record and a sixth place standing in the Pac-12.

The month of December starts with two road games for BYU. The Cougar women are at Arizona State on the sixth. The Sun Devils advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament last season with a 22-11, 10-7 record and a fifth place finish in the Pac-12. The team then heads to Idaho for a matchup against Boise State on Dec. 11. The Broncos compiled a 28-5, 16-2 record in 2018-19 clinching both the regular season and MWC championship crowns. Boise State advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA tournament.

BYU concludes its nonconference portion of the 2019-20 on the road competing in the Maui Jim Classic on Dec. 18 and 19. On Dec. 18, the Cougars will take on San Jose State. The Spartans are coming off a 6-24, 5-13 overall record, finishing ninth in the MWC. The next day, Dec. 19, the Cougars battle their final Pac-12 foe, Oregon State. The Beavers compiled a 26-8 overall record and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. They finished the league race in third place with a 14-4 mark.

After winning the 2019 West Coast Conference championship in Las Vegas last March, the BYU women have their sights on a regular season title as they open up the conference race the last week of December.

“It’s going to be another very close dog fight to win our league this year. I like that our schedule has us on the road to start conference action and then finish at home. It sets a good tone for us,” Judkins added.

The Cougars are at LMU and Pepperdine on Saturday, Dec. 28 and Monday, Dec. 30, respectively. In last year’s race, BYU lost both road games against the Lions and the Waves.

In last year’s conference battle, the Cougars swept the series and beat Gonzaga in the WCC title game. BYU will look to continue the winning success against the Bulldogs when the team comes to Provo on Thursday, Jan. 2. Two days later, BYU hosts Portland on Saturday, Jan. 4.

Playing its third home league game, the Cougars host San Diego on Saturday, Jan. 11. Last year, BYU swept the series vs. the Toreros.

Entering the fourth week of conference action, the Cougars find themselves on the road at Pacific and at St. Mary’s on Jan. 16 and Jan. 18. BYU won both games vs. the Tigers and each team won on the road in the series vs. the Gaels.

League foes San Francisco and Santa Clara are in Provo on Thursday, Jan. 23 and Saturday, Jan. 25. In last year’s league race, the Cougars swept the series vs. the Dons and Broncos.

Back on the road for the next three-straight conference games, BYU will be at Portland on Thursday, Jan. 30, at Gonzaga on Saturday, Feb. 1 and at San Diego on Saturday, Feb. 8.

Returning to the Marriott Center for their next two league games, the Cougars host Saint Mary’s and Pacific on Thursday, Feb. 13 and Saturday, Feb. 15.

In its final road trip in the 2020 conference race, BYU finds itself in northern California playing at Santa Clara on Thursday, Feb. 20 and at San Francisco on Saturday, Feb. 22.

The final week of league play has the Cougars at home hosting Pepperdine on Thursday, Feb. 27 and LMU on Saturday, Feb. 29.

The 2020 WCC Basketball Championships are scheduled for March 4-10 in Las Vegas at the Orleans Arena. BYU will compete for its second straight league championship title.

Darnell Dickson, who has been covering sports in Utah since 1989 (with a detour to Nebraska for three years somewhere in there), is currently the BYU football columnist and BYU men’s basketball beat writer.

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