March 18, 2014 in Sports

Cougars end 23-year postseason drought

By The Spokesman-Review

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 postseason.

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,” WSU 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 off 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 Oregon State – which will be joining Stanford, California, USC and Arizona State in the NCAA tournament. But X-rays on 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 backcourt,” 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 postseason tournament since 1991, which was the school’s only bid to the NCAA tournament.

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