Feb. 23, 2013
WASHINGTON STATE (10-16, 6-9) at UTAH (15-11, 6-9)
2 p.m. (PT) • Sunday • Feb. 24
Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000)
Salt Lake City
COUGARS WRAP UP ROAD SLATE SUNDAY AGAINST UTAH: Washington State University closes out its regular season road slate Sunday against the University of Utah at 2 p.m. (PT) in Salt Lake City.
COMING UP: WSU returns home to close the regular season hosting No. 6/6 University of California, Thursday Feb. 28 and No. 4/5 Stanford University, Saturday March 2 at Beasley Coliseum.
FOLLOW ALONG: Fans can follow the Cougars during the regular season on Pullman’s KHTR (104.3 FM), KQQQ 1150 AM or go to WSUCougars.com and listen to with a subscription to Cougar All Access. Steve Grubbs will be calling the play-by-play for the Cougs this season. Every WSU home game will be webstreamed on Pac-12.com during the 2012-13 conference season.
COUGAR ATHLETICS ON THE WEB: Connect with Washington State University Athletics on the web at WSUCougars.com, the official website of Cougar Athletics. Fans can follow along on the Cougars Gameday page at http://www.wsucougars.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/gameday.html. FOLLOW THE COUGS ON TWITTER: Follow Washington State women’s basketball on twitter @WSUWomensHoops and head coach June Daugherty @CoachJuneD.
ABOUT UTAH: Utah enters Sunday’s contest with a 15-11 overall record and tied for sixth with WSU in the Pac-12 standings with a 6-9 mark in conference play. Utah beat the University of Washington 60-46 Friday. Forward Michelle Plouffe leads the Utes with 16.7 ppg and 8.3 rpg. Head coach Anthony Levrets is in his third season at Utah.
RECAP: LAST SEASON’S MEETING IN PULLMAN: Brandi Thomas scored 18 points and keyed a 23-0 run for Washington State in the second half run to post a 60-43 victory over University of Utah last season. The Cougars overcame a cold shooting performance in the first half by shooting 50 percent in the second half, scoring 21 points off of Utah’s 26 turnovers and outscoring the Utes bench 39-0. WSU held Utah to 27 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes and finished the game with 13 steals. Rosetta Adzasu came off the bench to score 13 points and make four steals as 11 players scored for WSU.
SCHEDULE RANKED AMONG TOUGHEST IN COUNTRY: Washington State enters the week having played the No. 45 toughest schedule in the country. Earlier this season, the schedule ranked the ninth-toughest after the Cougars went on the road to face nationally ranked Louisville, Big East Conference member Syracuse, Minnesota, Gonzaga and a neutral site game against South Dakota State. WSU has posted home wins over nationally ranked Ohio State and WCC-preseason favorite BYU.
YOUTH MOVEMENT: Washington State owns six freshmen on its roster and has received more and more from its first-year players as the year as gone on. Guard Lia Galdeira paces the team and is seventh in the Pac-12 in scoring (14.8 ppg), she also leads the team in rebounding (5.3 rpg) and steals (77) and has scored in double figures 24 times including four 20-point efforts. In conference games, forward Mariah Cooks and guard Taylor Edmondson have produced while coming off the bench with Cooks averaging 6.1 ppg and Edmondson 5.6. Dawnyelle Awa started at point guard in place of Presley the last eight games and averaged 3.6 apg and 2.1 spg during that span. In her first career start, Awa delivered seven points, four assists, six steals and zero turnovers in the overtime win over Oregon State. She later tallied 11 points after hitting three 3-pointers in the win over USC.
GALDEIRA NAMED FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK FOR A THIRD TIME: Following another impressive weekend, Lia Galdeira picked up her third Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honor of the season, Feb. 4. Galdeira averaged 20.5 ppg and 7.0 spg for the Cougars who beat Arizona State University and the University of Arizona over the weekend. It’s WSU’s first road sweep of the Arizona schools since 1994-95. The freshman guard scored 20 points, grabbed eight boards and recorded seven steals in the 54-43 victory over Arizona State Friday before posting 21 points and seven steals in the 60-50 win at Arizona, Sunday. Galdeira scored 12 points in the second half against the Wildcats, including six straight that sparked a deciding 19-4 run to give WSU its first win in Tucson since 2009. It is the third weekly accolade for Galdeira this season after earning Freshman of the Week honors on consecutive weeks in December. Galdeira’s three weekly honors matches the most in a single season by a Cougar since Jenni Ruff did so during the 1995-96 season.
NOYES SETS SCHOOL RECORDS: Carly Noyes capped her climb up WSU’s career blocks list after blocking one shot at Washington to break Holly Zapel’s career blocks record of 147 and now owns 155 career blocks. The Moses Lake, Wash. native also made career start No. 111 against UCLA Jan. 10 to become WSU’s all-time leader in career starts, breaking Katie Appleton’s previous mark of 110. Noyes opened conference play with three blocks against Arizona before matching a career high with five blocks in the win over Arizona State. Noyes is also closing in on Jazmine Perkins’ record for career games played of 122. Noyes enters Sunday with 120 career games played, 114 career starts and second among the Pac-12’s active leaders in career blocks.
COUGAR DEFENSE MAKING ITS MARK: The WSU defense has turned some impressive performances this season and enters Sunday third in the conference in steals (260, 10.0 spg). This season, the Cougars have made 15+ steals in a game three times, forced 20+ turnovers 11 times, allowed less than 60 points nine times (Wisconsin, BYU, Ohio State, Gonzaga, at Arizona State, at Arizona, USC, at Oregon State, at Colorado) and held 16 teams under 36.0 percent shooting (vs. South Dakota State, Monmouth, Wisconsin, BYU, Ohio State, at Gonzaga, Arizona State, at USC, at Washington, Oregon, at Arizona State, at Arizona, USC, at Oregon State, at Oregon, at Colorado). The Cougars also enter Sunday leading the Pac-12 in steals during conference play at 154, 10.2 spg.
PRESLEY OUT FOR SEASON WITH KNEE INJURY: Tia Presley will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL in her right knee in the final minutes of the Jan. 25 loss to Oregon. The sophomore guard was second on the team in scoring at 13.3 ppg and in steals with 41 and owned a team-high 52 assists. During Pac-12 play, Presley was eighth in the conference with a team-best 15.7 ppg and was shooting 47.7 percent through seven games. Presley scored in double-figures 12 times this season including 20+ performances against Monmouth (21), at UC Riverside (22), Arizona State (27) and at USC (25). The Spokane, Wash. native did a little bit of everything in the win over Ohio State, recording eight points, seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Last season, Presley scored in double-figures five times and made 15 starts before a foot injury kept her out of the final 12 games.
FIVE CONFERENCE GAMES TELEVISED: Five of WSU’s Pac-12 Conference games will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks. The game at UCLA, both games against the University of Washington, Jan. 15 and 20, the Feb. 17 game at the University of Oregon on the Pac-12 Networks Oregon/Washington and the regular-season finale at home against Stanford University, Feb. 26 on the Pac-12 Networks.
COUGARS KNOCK OFF No. 20/19 OHIO STATE: Washington State’s 62-55 victory over Ohio State Dec. 15 was the Cougars first win over a ranked opponent since beating No. 22 Arizona 93-86 in Pullman Feb. 10, 2001. Its was the first win over a top-20 opponent since upsetting No. 18 Oregon 67-64 in Pullman just less than a month prior, Jan. 20, 2001.
COUGARS TAKE DOWN GONZAGA ON THE ROAD: Tia Presley scored a game-high 15 points and Mariah Cooks added 12 off the bench as Washington State posted a 57-51 victory over Gonzaga in front of a sold-out crowd at the McCarthey Athletic Center Dec. 29. The Cougars held Gonzaga to 25 percent shooting in the second half and forced the Zags into 15 turnovers. Washington State received 20 points from its bench while Gonzaga went 7-of-17 at the free throw line. Lia Galdeira brought down a team-high eight rebounds and notched 11 points while hitting three from behind the arc including a big one in the final seconds. Cooks connected on 6-of-8 free throw attempts including four in the final four minutes.
GALDEIRA EARNED TWO STRAIGHT PAC-12 WEEKLY ACCOLADES: Lia Galdeira tallied consecutive Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Week honors in December. Galdeira earned her first award after scoring a game-high 15 points in the win over No. 20 Ohio State. The Kamuela, Hawaii native also grabbed six rebounds and finished 6-for-6 at free throw line including four that came in the final 20 seconds. She picked up her second career honor after leading the Cougars in scoring in road contests against No. 14 Louisville and Syracuse. The guard scored 13 points and made three steals at Louisville before posting 16 points and a team-best six rebounds at Syracuse while also hitting a pair of threes. It’s the first time in program history that a Cougar has won a weekly award in consecutive weeks and it’s the first time WSU has had a player receive multiple weekly accolades in a season since Jenni Ruff earned three weekly honors during the 1995-96 season.
GALDEIRA OPENS CAREER WITH BIG NUMBERS: Jazmine Perkins (Northern Colorado, 11/28/08). She was later named to the Best Buy Classic all-tournament team after posting 12 points, six rebounds and three steals in the overtime defeat to South Dakota State. Galdeira followed that weekend with her first career double-double, 11 points and 13 rebounds, to go along with six assists and six steals in her home debut against Monmouth. In her first rivalry game against Washington, she posted a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
PAC-12 TOURNAMENT MOVES TO SEATTLE: With its new partnership with Force 10 Sports Marketing, LLC, the Seattle Sports Commission and Seattle Center, the Pac-12 Conference will bring the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament to KeyArena in Seattle in 2013. The new agreement, which runs through 2015, moves the tournament to the first full week in March to strengthen television windows and maximize national exposure. ESPN2 will televise the championship game, while all other games will be carried nationally on the Pac-12 Networks.