Cougars Host UC Riverside Wednesday In Tri-Cities

UC RIVERSIDE (4-5) at WASHINGTON STATE (5-5)4 p.m. • Wednesday • Dec. 18Toyota CenterKennewick, Wash.
COUGARS HOST UC RIVERSIDE WEDNESDAY IN TRI-CITIES: Washington State hosts UC Riverside Wednesday in Kennewick, Wash. as part of a Cougar Basketball doubleheader with the men’s team. Tipoff is at 4 p.m.ON DECK: The Cougars will close out their nonconference slate hosting No. 25/22 Gonzaga Saturday in Beasley Coliseum. Tipoff is slated for 11:30 a.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.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 5-5 record and have won four of their last six contests including one of the best wins in program history, a 76-72 road victory over No. 10 Nebraska in Lincoln Nov. 30. WSU used a second-half comeback to beat visiting Cal State Northridge 68-59 behind Tia Presley’s 21-point effort Dec.4 and dropped an 87-76 decision at Dayton this past Sunday, despite receiving 29 points from Lia Galdeira.  WSU owns two of the top-10 scorers in the Pac-12 as Presley paces WSU and is third in the conference at 20.2 ppg and Galdeira enters the week ninth at 17.3 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 UC RIVERSIDE: UC Riverside enters the week with a 4-5 overall record after dropping an 87-43 decision at Gonzaga Monday. Washington State and UC Riverside have met the last two seasons and each have won on their home court, the only previous meetings between the two teams. Brittany Crain paces the four players who average in double figures at 18.1 ppg. Head coach John Margaritis is in his ninth season and owns a 131-125 record at UCR.LAST YEAR AT UC RIVERSIDE: Tia Presley recorded her first career double-double with career-highs of 22 points and 10 rebounds for Washington State who dropped a 71-65 road contest at UC Riverside last November. The Cougars made 12 steals and forced UC Riverside into 16 turnovers but the Highlanders used a strong second half, shooting 48.0 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes to post the victory.COUGS IN TRI-CITIES: Washington State’s only appearance in Kennewick came in 2009, beating San Francisco 74-57.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. Through the first 10 games, the Spokane native owns four 20+ scoring efforts and is third in the Pac-12 in scoring at 20.2 ppg.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 Washington State University 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.

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