Nov. 13, 2009
The Washington State University women's basketball team opens its 2009-10 season against UC Davis of the Big West Conference, Sunday (Nov. 15) at 2 p.m. at Friel Court. The Cougars' game against the Aggies marks the first meeting between the two schools.
The Cougars, entering year three under Head Coach June Daugherty, are coming off a 2008-09 season that saw significant improvement. Last season Daugherty guided the Cougars to an eighth-place finish in the Pac-10, WSU's highest ranking in the conference since also finishing eighth in 1998-99. WSU also posted double-digit wins for the first time since the 2000-01 season.
COUGARS IN SEASON OPENERS
The Cougars are 18-21 all-time in season-opening games. Since the Pacific-10 Conference added women's basketball in 1986-87, the Cougars are 10-13 in season openers, including a 4-3 mark when opening the season in Pullman. WSU's last season-opening win came in 2005-06, when the Cougars defeated Pepperdine 66-57 in Pullman.
The only other time WSU has opened its season against a current member of the Big West was in 1994-95, when the Cougars defeated Cal State Fullerton 75-73.
WSU AGAINST THE BIG WEST
The Cougars are 6-6 against current members of the Big West Conference, and have squared off against five of the nine member schools: Cal State Fullerton (1-1), Cal State Northridge (2-0), Long Beach State (1-2), UC Santa Barbara (0-1) and Pacific (2-2). WSU is 4-1 when playing a current member of the Big West Conference in Pullman.
The Washington State University women's basketball team was predicted to finish sixth in the 2009-10 Pacific-10 Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, the highest prediction for the Cougars since the poll began prior to the 1998-99 season. Prior to this season, the highest the Cougars had been predicted to finish was eighth in 1998-99.
The following is the complete poll, including total points (first-place votes are in parentheses):
1. Stanford (9) - 81
2. California - 67
3. Arizona State (1) - 64
4. UCLA - 63
5. USC - 48
6. Washington State - 33
7. Oregon State - 29
8. Oregon - 23
9. Arizona - 22
10. Washington - 20
Fans can listen to the match-up live on KQQQ 1150 AM in Pullman/Moscow, or at www.wsucougars.com. Steve Grubbs will call the game live from Friel Court. Fans can also watch the game live on GameTracker.
NATION'S BIGGEST TURNAROUNDS
Following 2008-09, the Cougars ranked among the nation's top 30 teams in both increasing their win total and increasing their RPI ranking. During the regular season the Cougars won six more games than the previous season, ranking 26th nationally and second in the Pac-10 amongst teams making the greatest turnarounds. WSU also moved up 83 spots in the RPI from the previous season, the second-highest increase amongst Pac-10 teams, and tied for the 28th-highest jump nationally.