The Virginia women’s basketball team released its 2019-20 nonconference schedule on Wednesday, and it includes a date with perennial powerhouse Connecticut and a homecoming for head coach Tina Thompson.
Virginia travels to Storrs, Connecticut, on Nov. 19 for its first meeting with the Huskies since 2007. UConn has won 11 national titles since 1994, including four straight between 2013 and 2016. Last winter, the Huskies finished 35-3 and 16-0 in the American Athletic Conference and made the Final Four for the third year in a row. The Cavaliers are 2-4 in the all-time series with UConn and have lost four straight.
Virginia hosts Bucknell (Nov. 5), Kentucky (Nov. 16) and in-state foe Old Dominion (Nov. 24) before ending the month with the Cavalier Classic, which will feature another Commonwealth team in James Madison and UCLA – a Sweet 16 team a year ago.
The Wahoos are 15-9 all-time against JMU, but their last meeting ended in a 61-56 loss in the second round of the 2016-17 WNIT. The Cavaliers trail ODU 19-15 in that series, but defeated the Monarchs 73-67 last season in Norfolk.
The Cavaliers travel across the country on Nov. 9 to face Thompson’s alma mater, USC. It will be the first time the teams have met since 1995, when Wahoos beat the Trojans, 78-68. UVa also last faced UCLA in 1995 and won, 77-55.
In December, Virginia heads to Rutgers for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge before ending 2019 in Las Vegas for the Duel in the Desert, which features an opening-round matchup against UNLV and a second-round game against Mississippi State or South Florida.
The Bulldogs went 33-3 last season and made the Elite Eight.
The Cavaliers are coming off a 12-19 campaign in Thompson’s first season on Grounds. They’ll be led again this season by fourth-years Jocelyn Willoughby and Dominique Toussaint, both of whom eclipsed 1,000 career points last winter.
Six-foot-nine senior Felicia Aiyeotan and redshirt freshman guard Amandine Toi are coming off knee injuries, forward Dani Lawson is eligible after sitting out last year following a transfer from Purdue and fourth-year forward Lisa Jablonowski returns after she emerged last season on both ends of the court.
Thompson also brought in what looks like an exceptional first recruiting class, led by guards Shemera Williams and Carole Miller. Williams is the No. 54 recruit in the country, according to ESPN, and Miller is No. 82.