PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State women’s basketball will matchup against six NCAA Tournament teams and also head to Hawaii for the Rainbow Wahine Classic to highlight its 2013-14 nonconference schedule, head coach June Daugherty announced Friday.
The Cougars will face nine teams that made post-season appearances last year, six NCAA and three WNIT, including home games against Syracuse University, Fresno State University and Gonzaga University.
“Once again, our nonconference schedule gives us the opportunity to play some of the toughest teams in the country that will help us prepare for even tougher Pac-12 and postseason play,” Daugherty stated.
Washington State will host one exhibition game against The Master’s College at Beasley Coliseum Oct. 30.
The Cougars open the season at home against the Syracuse Orange in WSU’s third annual Native American Appreciation Game Nov. 10. The Orange posted a 61-54 victory over the Cougars in New York last season and later earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Two days later, WSU will head across the state for its first road contest, matching up against Seattle University Nov. 12, the first meeting between the two programs since 1986. Last season, the Redhawks claimed the WAC’s regular season title and appeared in the WNIT.
Washington State will head to Hawaii, the home state of Dawnyelle Awa and Lia Galdeira, for the Rainbow Wahine Classic hosted by the University of Hawaii Nov. 15-17. The Cougars will face three teams, WNIT participant Hawaii, NCAA Tournament participant West Virginia University and Ole Miss out of the SEC.
“We are very excited to once again be invited to play in Hawaii’s tournament against three great opponents,” Daugherty added. “That tournament will be a little extra special for Dawnyelle (Awa) and Lia (Galdeira) who will have a chance to play in front of their hometown family and friends .”
The Cougars will have a quick turnaround following the Hawaii tournament, hosting a Fresno State squad Nov. 22 that won the Mountain West Conference Tournament and advanced to its sixth straight NCAA Tournament last season.
Surrounding Thanksgiving, Washington State will hit the road for contests at Brigham Young University (Nov. 26), a WNIT participant last season and Nebraska (Nov. 30) who advanced to the Sweet 16 last year.
Following a Dec. 4 home game against Cal State Northridge, the Cougars will take some time off for finals before traveling to Dayton, Ohio to face Atlantic-10 Conference champion University of Dayton Dec. 15. Dayton is coming off of a 28-3 campaign that saw them reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
In late December, WSU will close out its nonconference slate with a pair of home games, hosting UC Riverside Dec. 18 and again matching up against defending West Coast Conference champion and NCAA Tournament participant Gonzaga Dec. 21. The Cougars and Zags have played a couple close games over the past three seasons with Gonzaga posting a pair of two-point victories and WSU recording a 57-51 win in Spokane last season.
The Pac-12 Conference schedule will be announced at a later date.