The University of Louisville women’s basketball program opens another highly anticipated season this weekend, beginning the 2015-16 season against a familiar foe in California on Sunday at the KFC Yum! Center at 2 p.m.
The Cardinals, eighth in both major polls, are ranked in the Associated Press’ top 10 for the fourth time in program history to start the year. Overall, it is the second-highest ranking to begin the season, only trailing the 2013-14 team that was tabbed No. 5.
The contest will air on ESPN3, with Don Russell (play-by-play) and Sara White (analyst) on the call. The radio broadcast will be available on WKRD 790 AM in Louisville, with Matt Andrews (play-by-play) and Adrienne Johnson (analyst) calling the action.
Louisville returns All-American starters Mariya Moore and Myisha Hines-Allen from last year’s team that went 27-7 and reached the NCAA Sweet 16. Moore, now a sophomore, paced the team in 2014-15 in points (13.4) and connected on a team-high 62 3-pointers. Hines-Allen ranked second on the team in points (11.8), hitting 55.8 percent of her shots – a mark that ranked fourth in the ACC and 13th nationally.
Garnering just as much attention heading into the season is Louisville’s top-ranked recruiting class that features Taja Cole (Richmond, Va.), Erin DeGrate (Waco, Texas), Sam Fuehring (Wanaque, N.J.), Brianna Jones (North Babylon, N.Y.), and the top-ranked player in the nation Asia Durr (Douglasville, Ga.).
The Cardinals, under ninth-year leader and the winningest coach in program history Jeff Walz, were picked to finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Blue Ribbon Panel and coaches’ preseason poll. Moore (preseason all-ACC) and Durr (Newcomer Watch List) each earned preseason honors.
California (1-0) won its season opener on Friday at Austin Peay State, with a 67-58 road victory. The Golden Bears scored a game-high 22 points in the third quarter, while holding the Governors to just 33.9 percent from the field. Notably, Cal scored 24 points off of 17 turnovers.
Courtney Range paced the Golden Bears with a team-best 23 points on 10-of-17 shooting, matching Gabby Green for a game-high four steals. Starters Kristine Anigwe (11), Asha Thomas (10), and Green (10) each reached double figures.
California, under the direction of fifth-year coach Lindsay Gottlieb, returns two starters from last year’s team that went 24-10, including a 13-5 record in Pac-12 Conference play to finish fourth in the regular-season standings. The team was picked to finish fourth in the conference’s preseason poll.
SERIES HISTORY – California vs. Louisville
Louisville boasts a 2-0 all-time record against California, defeating the Golden Bears 70-57 in Haas Pavilion on Dec. 21, 2014. Sara Hammond scored a game-high 18 points, and Mariya Moore added 10 points in front of her home-state fans.
As a team, the Cardinals shot 45.0 percent (27-of-60) and knocked down seven 3-pointers. Defensively, Louisville limited California to 32.2 percent (19-of-59) from the floor.
GAME FACTS – California at Louisville
Date: Sunday, Nov. 15
Time: 2:02 p.m. ET
Site: KFC Yum! Center/Crum Court (22,000), Louisville, Ky.
TV: ESPN3 will broadcast the game, with Don Russell (play-by-play) and Sara White (analyst) calling the action.
Radio: WKRD 790 AM will broadcast the game, with Matt Andrews (play-by-play) and Adrienne Johnson (analyst) calling the action.
Series History: Louisville leads the all-time series 2-0 (1-0 in Berkeley, 1-0 neutral). Louisville defeated California 70-57 on Dec. 21, 2014, in Haas Pavilion.
Next UofL Game: Saturday, Nov. 21 at Western Kentucky, E.A. Diddle Arena, Bowling Green, Ky., 3:30 p.m. ET (Fox College Sports)