Washington State’s high-scoring guard tandem of Lia Galdeira and Tia Presley were named Tuesday to the Pac-12’s 15-member all-conference team, marking the first time in school history two players were named to the same all-conference squad.
Presley, who set the scoring record for the Greater Spokane League while at Gonzaga Prep, led the Cougars (15-15, 9-9) in scoring with 18.9 points a game, which ranked sixth in the conference. The 5-9 junior also averaged 4.2 rebounds per contest.
WSU coach June Daugherty said Presley now has her name associated with some of the great women’s basketball players from Spokane. That group includes Angie Bjorklund (Tennessee), Briann January (Arizona State) and Heather Bowman (Gonzaga).
“So many good kids have come through Spokane,” Daugherty said. “She’s in some rare company. It’s a thrill to see another Spokane native kid get national recognition.”
Galdeira, a 5-11 sophomore from Kamuela, Hawaii, averaged 17.7 points and 4.6 rebounds a game and was second in the Pac-12 in steals with 73. She was also named honorable mention to the all-defensive team.
“They are an amazing back-court tandem,” Daugherty said. “Defensively, they have improved tremendously. We wouldn’t have had the success we had this year if not for how well both have played.”
Presley and Galdeira are the first Cougars’ players to be picked for the All Pac-12 Team since Tricia Lamb was selected during the 1998-99 season.
Presley overcame season-ending injuries that ended both her freshman and sophomore seasons.
“When the (ACL) injury happened, she said ‘I will come back better, I will come back quicker and I will never wear a brace,’ ” Daugherty said of Presley. “She’s had a phenomenal season.”
Galdeira, who ranked ninth in the Pac-12 in scoring and was named to the Pac-12 all-freshman team last year, also battled injuries, including missing some action after she took a charging foul against Colorado.
“It’s amazing to think what these kids have accomplished as young as they are,” Daugherty said. “They know this recognition wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t won and knocked off big teams, and without the contributions of their teammates.”
Washington State plays Oregon (15-14, 6-12) at 6 p.m. Thursday in the opening round of the Pac-12 Tournament in Seattle. The winner plays No. 21 California (21-8, 13-5) at 6 p.m. Friday.
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