June 24, 2003
PULLMAN, Wash. - A home season opener for the second consecutive year and nine teams that advanced to postseason play last season underline the 2003-04 schedule for the Washington State women's basketball team, which was announced by Head Coach Sherri Murrell, Tuesday.
"We have a good challenging schedule lined up that includes nine teams that reached postseason play this past season," said Murrell, who enters her second year at the helm of the Cougars. "The more our young players learn early and we stay healthy, the more the wins will come for us."
WSU hosts Fresno State, Friday, Nov. 21 at Beasley Coliseum to open the 2003-04 campaign. The Fresno State contest will be one of 15 home games (including two exhibitions) that the Cougars will play in 2003-04. Last year, WSU opened the Murrell era at home against Wyoming.
Fresno State is one of the nine teams on the Cougars' schedule that advanced to postseason play last season. The Cougars play four teams - Utah, Arizona, Stanford, Washington - that reached the NCAA Tournament and five - Arizona State, Baylor, Fresno State, Oregon State, Wyoming - that competed in the WNIT.
The non-conference slate features road games at Wyoming (Nov. 24), Eastern Washington (Nov. 26), WNIT runner-up Baylor (Nov. 29), Utah (Dec. 13) and Idaho (Dec. 20). In addition to Fresno State, the Cougars host non-conference foes Nebraska (Dec. 4), Utah Valley State College (Dec. 6) and San Diego State (Dec. 22).
The conference opener for WSU is at Arizona State, Saturday, Dec. 27. WSU's conference home opener is against perennial power Stanford, Friday, Jan. 2. The Cougars conclude the regular season with three consecutive home games (Washington, Feb. 21; Arizona, Feb. 26; Arizona State, Feb. 28).
At the end of the 2002-03 season, the Cougars' schedule was 30th in the nation according to the WBCA (Women's Basketball Coaches Association)/Summerville RPI strength of schedule ratings. That ranking was as high as second during the course of the season.
The Pacific-10 Conference Tournament is March 5-8 at San Jose, Calif.