The Washington State women’s basketball team was invited Monday to play in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, marking the first time in 23 years the Cougars have been selected to play in the post season.
Washington State (17-16) will play Montana (22-10) on Wednesday in Missoula, but the time was not available late Monday.
“I’m very very excited to be invited to play in the WNIT,” coach June Daugherty said. “It’s a great step for our program.”
Led by All-Pac 12 guards Lia Galdeira and Tia Presley, the Cougars knocked of four-ranked opponents this year and notched the most wins since the 1995-96 season.
Galdeira took a nasty fall and hurt her hand in the March 8 loss to the Beavers, who will be joining Stanford, California, USC and Arizona State in the NCAA tournament. But the X-rays on the Galdeira’s hand were negative, Daugherty said.
“She looks good and she’ll be ready to go,” Daugherty said of Galdeira. “We are excted to go and play.”
Presley, who played at Gonzaga Prep, led the Cougars with 19.3 points per game. Galdeira wasn’t far behind, averaging 18.4 points per contest.
“Lia and Tia are two of the best in the back court,” Daugherty said. “They are amazing. Everybody got to see that.”
The WNIT bid is the first time Washington State has been invited to play in a post-season tournament since 1991, which was the school’s only bid to the NCAA tournament.