Cougars open 2017-18 season against UC Davis - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Cougars open 2017-18 season against UC Davis

Photo: Washington State Athletics Photo: Washington State Athletics

By Washington State Athletics

WASHINGTON STATE (0-0) at UC DAVIS (0-0
7 p.m. | Friday | Nov. 10, 2017
Davis, Calif. | The Pavilion (5,391)


ABOUT THE MATCHUP
In a rematch of their WNIT 3rd round game from a season ago, the Cougs hit the road to take on UC Davis to open the 2017-18 season. Last year, WSU downed the Aggies, 71-62, in Pullman to advance to the round of eight. Leading the attack, then-sophomore Alexys Swedlund scored a game-high 20 points including hitting 4-of-10 from deep. The game last season was just the third meeting between the two teams with the Cougs holding a 2-1 advantage in the all-time series. Both wins for WSU in the series have come at home with the lone loss coming on the road in Davis in a 77-38 loss on Nov. 14, 2010.

LAST TIME OUT
Behind five scorers in double-figures and a stifling defense that forced 28 turnovers, the Washington State women's basketball team began the new year with a bang, running away from The Masters University, 95-57, Wednesday at Beasley Coliseum. Making the most of their exhibition contest, the Cougs showed off their high-octane offense by throwing up 100 shots in 40 minutes of play to just miss hitting the century mark in points. A 14-0 run in the first quarter broke the game open early while the Cougs showed off their finishing kick with a 29-point fourth quarter to end the night. In just 11 minutes of play, sophomore Kayla Washington dominated the game as she scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to complete the double-double. Her 10 rebounds, eight of which came on the offensive end, helped the Cougs to a 63-38 rebounding edge including a 32-9 edge on the offensive glass. While Washington showed off the all-around game, some familiar faces dominated the scoreline as Alexys Swedlund, hot off her WNIT All-Tournament last season, came up with 15 points to lead all scorers while Borislava Hristova made her return to the court with 14 points to go with seven boards and three steals. Caila Hailey and Maria Kostourkova rounded out the top scorers with 13 and 10, respectively.

WASHINGTON STATE LAST SEASON
After making the postseason for just the fourth time in the modern NCAA era, the Cougs proved to be a tough out as WSU won four in a row, their longest streak of the year, to advance to the semifinals of the WNIT.  The wins for the Cougs in the first four rounds marked WSU's first-ever post season victories (in the modern NCAA era). Three times prior the Cougs played in the opening round of the NCAA (1991) and the WNIT (2014, 2015) only to fall short. The Cougars earned the conference's automatic bid into the postseason tournament thanks to their seventh place finish in the standings. With the Pac-12 earning a record seven bids to the Big Dance, the Cougars became the conference's first team out making them the first team into the WNIT. The bid into the WNIT marked the third time in  four seasons the Cougars advanced to the postseason tournament.

ABOUT THE AGGIES
UC Davis enters the regular season coming off of an impressive 77-34 exhibition victory over the Acadamy of Arts. Junior forward Morgan Bertsch finished with a game-high 14 points, while senior Pele Gianotti grabbed game-high rebounds with 11 on the night. UC Davis returns all five starters and all but one player off of last season's squad that finished 25-8 overall and 14-2 in the Big West Conference to clinch the regular season title. Bertsch led the way last season averaging 15.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game en route to All-Big West first team honors, while fellow first-teamer, Gianotti, and second-team selection, Dan Nafekh, were also in double figures last season at 11.2 and 11.0 ppg, respectively.

WHAT'S BEING SAID FOLLOW THE COUGS ON SOCIAL MEDIA ALL SEASON LONG 
Get all the info, photos, and videos a true Coug Fan could want by following the team on Facebook (facebook.com/wsuwomenshoops), Twitter (@WSUWomensHoops) and Instagram (WSUWomensHoops).

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