Women’s basketball hoping to rebound in California

Cougars will look for first win of season when team plays Dons


JORDAN MAXWELL | Daily Evergreen File

WSU senior guard Pinelopi Pavlopoulou dodges a defender during a game against The Master’s University on Nov. 1.

JACOB MOORE, Former Evergreen sports editor

Cougar women’s basketball holds a 0-2 record for the first time since 2012. It certainly is not the start WSU hoped for, as Head Coach June Daugherty said her team had elevated expectations going into the first game.

“We feel like this is gonna be our year, so we’re really excited to get started,” Daugherty said before the season began.

There are at least 26 games remaining for the Cougars to make up ground in the Pac-12 standings. Five conference teams are ranked, including No. 10 Stanford University, which matches the Cougars’ 0-2 overall record.

An opportunity to rise in the standings begins with WSU’s next California road game. Daugherty said her team needs to improve on rebounding as it heads into a match with University of San Francisco (1-0).

“I thought that where we lost the game was in the rebound trenches,” she said following the loss to Saint Mary’s University.

Cougar athletes grabbed 30 rebounds in the game, but the Gaels had 14 more. This was not the case in the game against University of California, Davis. WSU posted 43 rebounds to the Aggies’ 38.

Rebounding was a theme before the season began as she said it is a product of rotating players throughout the game.

“There’s going to be nights where you don’t shoot it well,” Daugherty said, “but you gotta count on your defense and second shot opportunities on the offensive boards to get it done.”

Daugherty believes one area the team improved on was mentality.

“For our second game out, we battled much better than the first,” she said.

The Dons now await WSU in San Francisco for a rematch of last year’s 73-35 Cougar victory. At the time, that was the second-lowest number of points WSU’s defense allowed in close to 40 seasons. USF finished the season with an 18-13 overall record. Cougar basketball also posted 49 rebounds in that game.

Senior guard Anna Seilund scored 19 points for USF in its season opener against California Polytechnic State University. She led the team in three-pointers made. Junior guard Shannon Powell scored the second most points with 17. She went to the free throw line six times, making five shots.

On the other end of the court, WSU has five separate athletes that have scored double-digit points in a game this season.

Junior guard Alexys Swedlund, redshirt sophomore forward Borislava “Bobby” Hristova, redshirt junior forward Louise Brown, senior guard Caila Hailey and junior center Maria Kostourkova have combined for 112 total points in two games.

As Daugherty suggested, the Cougars will look to improve on rebounding against USF with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at War Memorial Gym in San Francisco. WSU returns to Pullman for its home opener against University of Kentucky on Sunday.