Well, this is new.
For the first time in her seven-year Hawaii coaching career, Laura Beeman will open a regular season … at home. So it was revealed in the 2018-19 Hawaii women’s basketball schedule announced Wednesday.
UH hosts Pepperdine on Nov. 6 — on the new, earlier NCAA-approved start date for all schools — at the Stan Sheriff Center, as part of a 16-game home schedule that includes Pac-12 powerhouse Stanford (Nov. 25).
— Laura Beeman (@LauraBeeman) August 30, 2018
Here’s the full schedule.
UH hosts two nonconference home tournaments, and plays another (the Duel in the Desert) on the road.
The second home tournament, the four-team round-robin Rainbow Wahine Showdown, features the biggest singular opponent here of recent Wahine vintage.
Stanford finished last season ranked No. 15 and made the NCAA tournament third round. The Cardinal, under coach Tara Vanderveer, have been a semi-regular participant in nonconference tournaments here. In 2012, they notably defeated Baylor and Brittney Griner at the Stan Sheriff Center in a battle of teams coming off final four appearances.
Bettering the 12-18 overall record of the last two seasons will be expected for Beeman, of which she is acutely aware. However, the nonconference schedule appears to be typically challenging.
The other nonconference home dates are Portland (Nov. 16), Seattle (Nov. 18), American (Nov. 23), Florida Gulf Coast (Nov. 24), Idaho (Dec. 5) and Hawaii Pacific (Dec. 9).
From there, the Wahine depart for the mainland over the Christmas holiday, per Beeman’s tradition of allowing her mainland players and staff time with their families.
Nonconference road games are San Diego State (Nov. 9), San Diego (Nov. 11), UNLV and either Florida or Utah in Las Vegas’ Duel in the Desert tournament (Dec. 19 and 21), and Nevada (Dec. 29).
The return of former WAC opponent Idaho is notable in that coach Jon Newlee is a former Wahine assistant under Vince Goo. He had a dust-up with UH in the Dana Takahara-Dias era.
The 16-game Big West schedule begins at Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 5.
Big dates here in conference include defending tournament champion Cal State Northridge, featuring well-documented UH tormentor Channon Fluker, on Jan. 17.
Fullerton, coached by Hawaii native Jeff Harada, makes its return on UH’s senior night on March 2.