Aug. 2, 2011
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University Head Women's Basketball Coach June Daugherty announced the Cougars 2011-12 schedule Tuesday. This year's slate features 23 games against 19 teams that appeared in the postseason a season ago, including 12 NCAA Tournament participants, and is highlighted by a trip to the Virgin Islands along with 18 games against the new-look Pac-12 Conference.
"We are thrilled with this schedule," stated Daugherty who enters her fifth season at WSU. "We will have the opportunity to experience and compete against many of the top programs in the country that will help prepare us for Pac-12 Conference play. To be the best, you have to play the best and that's what we are doing again this season."
The Cougars will host a pair of exhibition contests, facing Seattle Pacific University Oct. 29 and Lewis & Clark State College Nov. 6.
WSU opens the season on the road, heading to the Lady Lion Classic hosted by Penn State University Nov. 11-13 where they will matchup against PSU, a second round NCAA Tournament team last season, and either NCAA Tournament participant Middle Tennessee State or UNC Wilmington.
"Traveling to the east coast will be exciting for our team," Daugherty said. "That trip will give Rosie Tarnowski (Philadelphia, Pa.) a chance to play in front of friends and family and also provide a great challenge as we will open the season against some very good competition."
The following week the Cougs embark on an 8,100 mile road trip, heading to Madison, Wis. for a Nov. 18 meeting against WNIT participant University of Wisconsin, then on to Brookings, S.D. to face another 2011 NCAA Tournament team in South Dakota State University Nov. 20 before making the 1,300 mile trek to the Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam Tournament Nov. 24-26. There, WSU will face a pair of NCAA Tournament teams in Marquette University and Prairie View A&M University along with WNIT participant University of Michigan before returning to Pullman after playing the first seven games on the road.
"That road trip will provide us with opportunities to play two teams in Wisconsin and South Dakota St. who own two very passionate fan bases and will prepare us for playing on the road during our conference schedule," Daugherty commented. "We are very excited to play in such a prestigious tournament in such a beautiful location when we head to the Virgin Islands to match up against three more outstanding programs."
WSU kicks off its home slate Nov. 30 by hosting a team coming off an NCAA Tournament elite eight performance last season in Gonzaga University. Two days later, the Cougars welcome in San Diego State University for a Dec. 2 meeting, later matching up against WNIT participant UC Riverside Dec. 11 before closing out the homestand Dec. 19 against University of Louisville, a NCAA Tournament sweet 16 team last year.
"Our first homestand will give us a chance to match up against some elite teams in front of our fans," added Daugherty.
The final nonconference game will be a little special for the WSU coaching staff as the Cougars travel to Columbus, Ohio to face another team coming off an NCAA Tournament sweet 16 appearance in The Ohio State University Dec. 22. Daugherty, a Columbus native, and WSU associate head coach Mike Daugherty both played basketball for the Buckeyes and were later inducted into the OSU Athletic Hall of Fame.
"The game against the Buckeyes gives us another opportunity to play in Big 10 territory and compete against one of the top programs in the country," stated Daugherty. "It will be great for Mike and I to have a chance to go home and see family and friends but also have our team continue to prepare for conference play by playing a very good Ohio State team on its home floor."
With the additions of University of Colorado and University of Utah, the Pac-12 Conference schedule will not feature each school playing every school twice this season. WSU will play University of California, Colorado, Stanford University and Utah just once during the regular season.
The Cougars open conference play the final weekend of 2011, heading to Oregon to face the University of Oregon Dec. 29 and Oregon State University Dec. 31. WSU gets its first look at the new conference members the first weekend of 2012 as the Buffaloes and Utes come to Pullman on Jan. 5 and Jan. 7, respectively.
A Jan. 14 meeting with Huskies caps the Cougars three-game homestand before they travel to the Bay area for matchups against 11-time defending conference champion and 2011 NCAA Tournament Final Four participant Stanford Jan. 19 and California Jan. 21.
Arizona State University and University of Arizona come to Pullman Jan. 26 and 28, respectively, before the Cougs make the trip to Los Angeles to face USC and UCLA the first weekend of February.
The Oregon schools return to Pullman Feb. 9 (OSU) and Feb. 11 (UO) before WSU plays its next three away from the Palouse, facing Arizona Feb. 16, Arizona State Feb. 18 and Washington Feb. 25.
The Cougars will close out the regular season home, hosting UCLA Mar. 1 and USC Mar. 3.
The Pac-12 Conference Tournament will again be held at the Galen Center and Staples Center in Los Angeles Mar. 7-10. The first two rounds will be played at the Galen Center and the two semifinal games and championship game will be held at the Staples Center.
"It will be good to see the intensity pick up with the two new members of our conference this season," added Daugherty. "Both Colorado and Utah have excellent coaching staffs and basketball history and they should be great additions to an already outstanding conference."