Aug. 28, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. - Twelve games against 2007 postseason participants and a trip to the Bahamas for the Junkanoo Jam highlight the 2007-08 Washington State University women's basketball schedule as announced by first-year head coach June Daugherty.
The Cougars open the season with two-straight home games, hosting Portland (Nov. 9) in the opener of a women's basketball-men's basketball-volleyball tripleheader at Beasley Coliseum. WSU remains at home to host Santa Clara (Nov. 13).
After its road opener at in-state rival, Eastern Washington, WSU spends the Thanksgiving holiday at Grand Bahamas Island for the 2007 Junkanoo Jam (Nov. 23-24). The Cougars open the tournament against NCAA Tournament team, North Carolina State, Friday and will follow it up against either Alabama or Eastern Michigan Saturday.
"I believe that anytime you can have your team travel outside the country, it's a great culture experience," Daugherty said. "For a lot of the players, it's going to be the first time they've left the United States. To experience a different culture and also play some great basketball is a wonderful opportunity during the holidays. I know that we have a lot of families and some fans traveling with us because it's Thanksgiving and that's going to make it all the more fun."
Washington State returns home to host the final four of its six home nonconference games, facing Idaho (Nov. 28), Texas Tech (Dec. 1), Boise State (Dec. 9) and San Jose State (Dec. 16). The matchup with Big 12 power Texas Tech is just the second all-time meeting between the two schools. The Lady Raiders came out victorious, 75-63, in the only other meeting in 1992. The game against 2007 NCAA Tournament participant Boise State pits Daugherty up against her former team which she coached from 1989-96.
"I think it's great that we have eight games at home during in nonconference play," Daugherty said. "I really think it's going to give us an opportunity to show our fans how hard we've worked in the off season and the style of play we want to present to them. We want to make sure that every time we're out on the court we're representing Washington State the absolute best we can."
WSU closes out nonconference play at Montana (Dec. 18) and at Long Beach State (Dec. 21).
"It's really exciting for us to open up against the variety of talented teams that we're going to see," Daugherty said. "I believe our fans are really going to have the opportunity to see the new championship era in women's basketball against some very talented and well coached teams. It gives us an opportunity to get out there and get our kids involved in the new system. We think we're up to the challenge and we're looking forward to it."
The Cougars open up conference play with three-straight 2007 NCAA Tournament participants, beginning with Stanford (away Dec. 28/home, March 2), which reached the second round last season. After a trip to California (Dec. 30/home, Feb. 29), WSU hosts Daugherty's previous team, 2007 NCAA Tournament participant and cross-state-rival, Washington, at Pullman (Jan. 4). The Cougars make the return trip Feb. 2.
Two other Pac-10 schools competed in postseason play, including Arizona State (home, Jan. 26/away, Feb. 21), which advanced to the Sweet Sixteen and Oregon (away, Jan. 17/home Feb. 17), which advanced to the third round of the WNIT, falling to eventual-champion, Wyoming.
The remainder of the schedule includes USC (home, Jan. 10/away, Feb. 10), UCLA (home, Jan. 12/away, Feb. 8), Oregon State (away Jan. 19/home, Feb. 15) and Arizona (home, Jan. 24/away, Feb. 23).
"The Pac-10 conference is one of the best conferences in the country and definitely the best conference on the West Coast," Daugherty said. "Everyday it is so exciting as a competitor and as a coach to get to compete against the absolute best and we look forward to that challenge. I think our players have been working really hard this summer to get ready for that. It's going to be a different style of play, here in Pullman, than what has happened in the past. We wanted to be a little more up-tempo. I think the defense is going to be a little bit different. I believe we're going to have a lot of success and I think our fans are going to enjoy seeing this style of play."
The Pacific-10 Conference Tournament takes place March 7-10 at Compaq Center in San Jose, Calif.