Washington State will open Pac-12 Network’s 2014-15 women’s basketball broadcast season when WSU hosts No. 16 Nebraska on Wednesday at 8pm PT. Nebraska is the second ranked team and third game overall the Cougars have played in the past six days.
WSU (2-0) opened the season with a win against then-No. 22 Dayton on Friday and outscored Idaho State 40-0, yes, 40-0, to ultimately beat them by 50 points on Sunday. It’s the Cougs’ first 2-0 start since the 2005-06 season. And it could be extended in a rematch with the Huskers (2-0), who warmed up with wins against Pepperdine and Alcorn State to open the season.
Washington State defeated then-No. 10 Nebraska on the road last season, nailing a record 12 three-pointers. The visitors are without F Jordan Hooper (Tulsa Shock) but still have PG Rachel Theriot, who’s averaging 17 points and ranked among ESPN’s top-25 players. The Huskers’ athletic starting five features four seniors.
The Cougars will counter with four returning starters, including the potent backcourt duo in senior Tia Presley (19 points) and junior Lia Galdeira (18.5). But it’s not all about the offense, so far. WSU forced 60 turnovers in its first two games.
“They play a matchup zone, which is unique, and we don’t see that every day,” Nebraska coach Connie Yori told the Omaha World-Herald. “(We’ve had) a couple of days to prepare and hopefully get ourselves ready. But it’s not going to be easy to win there, that’s for sure.”
WSU received votes in both the Associated Press Top-25 (10 points) and the USA Today Coaches polls (nine points) released this week. Washington State received votes in the coaches poll toward the end of last season after beating four ranked teams, including then-No. 20 California in the Pac-12 conference tournament.
It was the first time the Cougars received votes in a top-25 poll since midway through the 1991-92 season. The program has never been ranked.
“It’s great to see that the nation is recognizing that the Cougars are a program that is definitely on the rise and able to compete against the best,” WSU coach June Daugherty said. “I will talk more about that after we play the next two games (Nebraska and Seattle University on Friday). That’s going to tell me a little bit more about where we are at as a team as far as being nationally ranked and all.”
Washington State isn’t the only Pac-12 team playing a tough opponent this week.
In a perk, Pac-12 Networks will replay No. 6 Stanford’s upset over No. 1 UConn on Monday. It will encore across all seven networks Thursday at 4:30pm and lead into the network’s live telecast of Stanford (2-0) against No. 10 Texas (1-0) at 6pm.
You can still catch a replay of Stanford’s record-breaking clash on the WatchESPN app, too.
The AP poll is published on Monday, so that evening’s win wasn’t reflected in the vote by media. The coaches’ poll is released Tuesday, however, and Stanford took over the top spot while UConn (1-1) dropped to fourth.
Meanwhile in Oregon, first-year coach Kelly Graves’ team will host No. 11 North Carolina at 3pm Sunday on the Pac-12 Network. The Tar Heels (2-0) host No. 21 Oklahoma State (2-0) on Wednesday at 3pm PT on ESPN3/WatchESPN app.
Here’s the Pac-12’s full slate of games this week. Washington (0-1) hosts its home-opener against South Dakota (1-1) at Alaska Airlines Arena on Thursday at 7pm.
UPCOMING PAC-12 SCHEDULE
Tuesday, November 18
Nevada at 14/14 California, 7 p.m. PT
Wednesday, November 19
Nebraska at Washington State, P12N, 8 p.m. PT
CSU Bakersfield at Arizona State, 6:30 p.m. MT
Thursday, November 20
10/13 Texas at 6/1 Stanford, P12N, 6 p.m. PT
South Dakota at Washington, 7 p.m. PT
Utah at Creighton, 7:05 p.m. CT
Friday, November 21
USC at Long Beach State, 4:30 p.m. PT
Arizona at Texas Tech, 7 p.m. CT
14/14 California at Hawai’i (Wahine Classic), 7 p.m. HT
Seattle at Washington State, 8:30 p.m. PT
Saturday, November 22
Concordia (Ore.) at 20/21 Oregon State, 2 p.m PT
Arkansas State at Colorado (Preseason WNIT), 6 p.m. MT
Sunday, November 23
Fresno State at USC, 2 p.m. PT
Yale at Washington, 7:30 p.m. PT
14/14 California vs. Missouri (Wahine Classic), 4:30 p.m. HT
11/11 North Carolina at Oregon, P12N, 3 p.m. PT
1013 Texas at UCLA, P12N, 1 p.m. PT
Utah at 16/15 Nebraska, 1 p.m. CT
Monday, November 24
6/1 Stanford at New Mexico, 7 p.m. MT
P12N indicates televised game on Pac-12 Networks. Times local to site.