Cougars Open Pac-12 Play Friday Hosting No. 24 Arizona State

No. 24 ARIZONA STATE (11-1) at WASHINGTON STATE (6-6)7 p.m. • Friday • Jan. 3Beasley Coliseum (11,671)Pullman, Wash.
COUGARS OPEN PAC-12 PLAY HOSTING ARIZONA STATE FRIDAY: Washington State University opens Pac-12 Conference play with three-game homestand beginning Friday against No. 24 Arizona State University at 7 p.m. in Beasley Coliseum.ON DECK: WSU hosts the University of Arizona Sunday at Noon on the Pac-12 Networks before hosting the University of Washington nest Tuesday at 7 p.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.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 6-6 record and have won five of their last eight contests after dropping its final nonconference game Dec. 21 to No. 25 Gonzaga University 70-62 in Pullman. Washington State posted a 76-72 road win over No. 10 Nebraska Nov. 30 and owns two of the top-10 scorers in the Pac-12 as Presley paces WSU and is third in the conference at 20.4 ppg and Galdeira enters the week eighth at 17.8 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. 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 ARIZONA STATE: Arizona State enters conference play with an 11-1 record after beating No.  Syracuse 63-60 in Tempe Monday. The Sun Devils enter the week ranked No. 24 by the Associate Press and winners of 10 straight. Deja Mann paces ASU in scoring at 11.1 ppg while Kelsey Moos, niece of WSU Director of Athletics Bill Moos, leads the Sun Devils in rebounding at 6.5 rpg. Head coach Charli Turner Thorne is in her 17th season at ASU and owns a 313-198 career record at the school.ASU-WSU SERIES: Arizona State leads the all-time series with the Cougars 38-17 despite WSU taking all three meetings last season, 77-65 in Pullman, 54-43 in Tempe and 48-41 in the opening round of the Pac-12 Conference Tournament in Seattle. It was the first time WSU had swept a season series against ASU since 1997. The Cougars have never beaten a ranked Sun Devil team in seven tries.LAST YEAR AGAINST ASU IN PULLMAN: Tia Presley scored a then-career-high 27 points to lead Washington State past visiting Arizona State, 77-65 last January in Pullman. The Cougars received a season-high 17 points from Sage Romberg and career-high 17 from Taylor Edmondson. Presley and Romberg each knocked down a pair of threes while Edmondson hit all three of her attempts from behind the arc. Graduated center Carly Noyes blocked a career-high five shots. WSU held the Sun Devils to 33.8 percent shooting including 29.5 percent in the second half and 1-of-12 from behind the arc for the game. The Cougars also scored 14 points off of 19 ASU turnovers.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 PUTTING UP BIG NUMBERS: Tia Presley enters Pac-12 Conference play third in scoring at 20.4 ppg after posting five 20-point efforts in the first 12 games. The junior guard scored 20 points in the season-opener against Syracuse, 29 in the win over Ole Miss in Hawaii, a career-high 37 in the win over Fresno State, 21 while beating Cal State Northridge and 24 in the victory over UC Riverside in Kennewick, Wash. Her 37 points against Fresno State was 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.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).GALDEIRA, PRESLEY EARNED ALL-PAC-12 ACCOLADES: Tia Presley and Lia Galdeira each received All-Pac-12 honors, as voted on by the Pac-12 coaches following the regular season. Galdeira and Presley were both named All-Pac-12 honorable mention while Galdeira was also voted All-Defensive Team honorable mention and to the All-Freshman team. During conference play, Galdeira led all freshmen in scoring at 14.8 ppg and led all players with 49 steals. Galdeira led WSU in scoring in 15 of the 18 conference games including three straight 20-point performances during a four-game winning streak. Galdeira, a three-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week selection, was one of two freshmen to receive All-Defensive Team honorable mention. Presley picks up her first career all-conference accolade despite being limited to seven conference games after suffering a season-ending knee injury Jan. 25. Prior to the knee injury, the Spokane, Wash. native was eighth in the conference with a team-best 15.7 ppg and was shooting 47.7 percent in Pac-12 play. 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).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.