No. 25/22 GONZAGA (9-2) at WASHINGTON STATE (6-5)
11:30 a.m. • Saturday • Dec. 21
Beasley Coliseum (11,671)
COUGARS WRAP UP NONCONFERENCE SLATE HOSTING NO. 25 GONZAGA: Washington State closes out its nonconference slate Saturday hosting No. 25 Gonzaga University at 11:30 a.m. in Beasley Coliseum. The game will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.
ON DECK: The Cougars will have a holiday break before opening 2014 and Pac-12 play with three straight home games, Arizona State Jan. 3, Arizona Jan. 5 and Washington Jan. 7.
LISTEN IN: 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 online. Steve Grubbs will be calling the play-by-play for the Cougs this season.
COUGAR ATHLETICS ON THE WEB: Connect with Washington State University Athletics on the web at WSUCougars.com, the official website of Cougar Athletics. Every home game will be webstreamed through the Pac-12 Networks at http://pac-12.com/videos/washington-state-university.
FOLLOW THE COUGS ON TWITTER: Follow Washington State women’s basketball on twitter @WSUWomensHoops and head coach June Daugherty @CoachJuneD.
ABOUT WASHINGTON STATE: The Cougars own a 6-5 record and have won five of their last seven contests after beating UC Riverside 77-73 in overtime in Kennewick, Wash. Wednesday. Washington State also owns a road win over No. 10 Nebraska 76-72 Nov. 30 in Lincoln. WSU owns two of the top-10 scorers in the Pac-12 as Presley paces WSU and is third in the conference at 20.5 ppg and Galdeira enters the week sixth at 18.1 ppg. The Cougars return 11 letterwinners including three starters from last year’s team that went 11-20, 6-12 in the Pac-12, finishing eighth in the conference and advancing to the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament for the second straight season. Headlining the returners are a pair of All-Pac-12 selections in Lia Galdeira and Tia Presley along with senior forward Sage Romberg, a three-year starter for the Cougars. Last season, WSU posted a number of impressive wins, sweeping all three meetings with Arizona State, beating No. 20 Ohio State, and knocking off Gonzaga in Spokane.
ABOUT GONZAGA: Gonzaga enters Saturday with a 9-2 overall record and ranked No. 25 in the latest Associated Press Poll and No. 22 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Guard Haiden Palmer paces the Bulldogs in scoring at 14.4 ppg while forward Sunny Greinacher adds 12.6 ppg and a team-high 6.5 rpg. Head coach Kelly Graves is in his 14th season at Gonzaga and owns a 296-133 career record.
GONZAGA-WSU SERIES: Washington State leads the all-time series with Gonzaga 18-6 after posting a 57-51 victory in Spokane last season. The Bulldogs have won four of the last five matchups. WSU leads the all-time series in Pullman 9-1 after dropping a 71-69 decision in Pullman in 2011.
LAST YEAR AT GONZAGA: Tia Presley scored a game-high 15 points and freshman forward Mariah Cooks added 12 off the bench as WSU posted a 57-51 victory over Gonzaga last December. The Cougars held Gonzaga to 25 percent shooting in the second half and forced the Zags into 15 turnovers. Lia Galdeira brought down a team-high eight rebounds and notched 11 points while hitting three 3-pointers including a big one in the final seconds. Cooks connected on 6-of-8 free throw attempts including four in the final four minutes. It was WSU’s first win in Spokane since 1997.
COUGS AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS: Washington State owns a 11-131 record against ranked opponents but own a 77-72 road win over No. 10 Nebraska this season and a 63-55 victory over No. 20 Ohio State in Beasley Coliseum last season.
COUGARS KNOCK OFF NO. 10 NEBRASKA IN LINCOLN: Washington State made a season-high 12 threes and held off No. 10 Nebraska twice after building big leads to post a 76-72 upset in Lincoln November 30. Tia Presley led the Cougars with 17 points, seven rebounds, five steals and five assists as four players scored in double figures. It was WSU’s first win over a top-10 ranked team since 1998, beating No. 10 Arizona in Tucson. The Cougars also beat No. 20/19 Ohio State last season in Pullman.
PRESLEY ERUPTS FOR 37 POINTS: Tia Presley’s career high 37 points against Fresno State were the second-most in WSU single-game history and four away from the Jenni Ruff’s school record of 41, set in 1996 against California. Presley finished the game 15-of-24 from the floor including a career high five threes, all five coming in the first half. She also grabbed six boards and made three steals. Her 15 made field goal attempts tie her for the most in WSU single-game history with three other players.
COUGARS BEAT OLE MISS AT HAWAII TOURNAMENT: Washington State posted a 1-2 record at the Rainbow Wahine Classic in Honolulu, falling to Hawaii (77-66) and West Virginia (88-66) before closing the tournament with an impressive 79-65 victory over Ole Miss Sunday behind Tia Presley’s career high 29-point effort. The win over Ole Miss is WSU’s first win over an SEC opponent since beating Mississippi State 61-59 in Hawaii in 1997.
GALDEIRA NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM IN HAWAII: Sophomore guard Lia Galdeira capped her return to the islands by earning a spot on the Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Classic All-Tournament Team. The Kamuela, Hawaii native averaged 18.3 ppg and a team-best 7.0 rpg while also recording six steals in the three games. Galdeira poured in a game-high 29 points and added nine rebounds against Hawaii, scored 12 points against West Virginia before tallying 14 points, eight boards and five steals in the win over Ole Miss.
AWA, GALDEIRA MADE RETURN TO THE ISLANDS: Washington State sophomore guards and Hawaii natives Dawnyelle Awa and Lia Galdeira saw many familiar faces in the crowd last weekend at the Rainbow Wahine Classic held in Honolulu. Both players starred together at Konawaena High School where they helped KHS to three Hawaii state titles. Awa was named the league player of the year three times while Galdeira was named the state player of the year three times.
COUGARS INK FOUR FOR 2014 SIGNING CLASS: Washington State women’s basketball signed four players to attend WSU next fall. Joining the Cougars next season are 6-2 guard Ashley Bolston (Medford, Ore.), 5-9 guard Caila Hailey (Inglewood, Calif.), 6-3 forward Nike McClure (Tenino, Wash.) and 5-8 point guard Pinelopi Pavlopoulou (Athens, Greece). This year’s class received honorable mention from Blue Star Basketball as one of the top recruiting classes in the country.
COUGARS TOOK EUROPEAN TRIP IN AUGUST: WSU took a 10-day foreign trip to Austria, Slovakia and Czech Republic this past August. The Cougars departed Pullman Aug. 6, arrived in Vienna Aug. 7 and visited the cities of Vienna (Aug. 7-8), Bratislavia (Aug. 9-11) and Prague (Aug. 12-15). They took in a number of sights including a tour the St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Schonrunn Palace, Prater Amusement Park, the Bratislava Castle and the Vltava River before returning home Aug. 16. The Cougars played four games and swept all four contests, beating Levice in Bratslava Aug. 11, Hradec Kralove in Prague Aug. 13, Lokomotiva Karlovy Vary in Prague Aug. 14 and BLK VSE Praha in Prague Aug. 15. Six WSU Ambassadors joined the team on the trip including WSU First Lady Carmento Floyd.
GALDEIRA INVITED TO TEAM USA U19 NATIONAL TEAM TRIALS: Guard Lia Galdeira was selected to attend the 2013 National Team Trials and tryout for the FIBA U19 World Championship Team at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. last May. Galdeira was one of 34 players from throughout the country who received and accepted the invitation.
FORMER COUGS SIGN PRO CONTRACTS: Former Cougars Ireti Amojo and Carly Noyes each signed professional contracts to play in Germany this fall. Both Amojo and Noyes inked deals with the Chemitz Chemcats in Ghemnitz, Germany. The Chemcats are one of 12 teams that play in the DBBL, the highest rated league in Germany. It was the second straight year that multiple Cougars have signed professional contracts. Last summer, Rosetta Adzasu signed to play professionally in Finland and Jazmine Perkins signed to play in Sweden.
COUGAR DEFENSE MADE ITS MARK: The WSU defense has turned some impressive performances this season and finished the year third in the conference in steals (9.5 spg) and fourth in total steals (296), fifth-most by a WSU team. This season, the Cougars made 15+ steals in a game three times, forced 20+ turnovers 11 times, allowed less than 60 points 10 times (Wisconsin, BYU, Ohio State, Gonzaga, at Arizona State, at Arizona, USC, at Oregon State, at Colorado, at Utah, vs. Arizona State) and held 17 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, vs. Arizona State). The Cougars also set a school record with 114 blocks, breaking the record of 106, set in 2011-12.
GALDEIRA WAS AMONG TOP SCORING FRESHMEN IN THE COUNTRY: Guard Lia Galdeira finished her first collegiate season as the top-scoring freshman in the Pac-12 Conference at 14.8 ppg, the second-highest scoring average in the country by a freshman. UCF’s Briahanna Jackson was the country’s top-scoring freshman at 15.0 ppg after playing three more games than Galdeira. The Kamuela, Hawaii native broke WSU’s single-season freshman scoring record during her 18-point performance against No. 6 California, surpassing Jazmine Perkins’ previous record of 413 in 2008-09. Galdeira tallied 459 points this season, the tenth-highest total in WSU single-season history. She also recorded WSU freshman records for games scored in double figures (28) and consecutive games scored in double-figures (15).
PRESLEY MISSED FINAL 13 GAMES WITH KNEE INJURY: Tia Presley missed 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. In 2011-12, Presley scored in double-figures five times and made 15 starts before a foot injury kept her out of the final 12 games.