WSU hosts No. 25 Kentucky

Cougars return home after notching first win of season Wednesday


JORDAN MAXWELL | Daily Evergreen File

Redshirt junior Borislava Hristova drives to the hoop for a layup against The Master’s University on Nov. 1.

RYAN BLAKE, Evergreen reporter

WSU women’s basketball (1-2) opens the home portion of its 2017-18 regular season Sunday against the University of Kentucky (2-0).

The Cougars began the season on the road with a 76-91 loss to University of California, Davis, followed by a 75-81 loss to Saint Mary’s College. They bounced back with a 74-70 road victory over University of San Francisco on Wednesday night, outrebounding the Dons 51-38.

Head Coach June Daugherty said she was pleased with her team’s effort on the boards, after being outrebounded by 13 against Saint Mary’s.

“I thought it was a gritty, gritty performance by our team,” Daugherty said. “I thought we won the game tonight on the boards, and it feels good to say that after the first two games.”

Redshirt sophomore forward Borislava Hristova started the season with three straight double-digit scoring games. She posted her 12th career 20-point game during Wednesday’s victory over USF. Her 54 total points so far this season lead the Pac-12.

Kentucky enters Sunday’s contest ranked No. 25 in the latest Associated Press top-25 poll released Monday. The Wildcats began the season at home with a 101-70 victory over Sacramento State University, followed by a 72-34 win over Gardner-Webb University.

The Wildcats travel to Missoula to face University of Montana on Thursday night before continuing to Pullman for Sunday afternoon’s contest.

The Cougars fell to the Wildcats 69-67 last season in Lexington, Kentucky. WSU junior guard Alexys Swedlund posted a then career high of 20 points, but the Cougars could not climb back from a 26-8 first-quarter deficit.

Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell said last season’s contest was a challenge and he expects the upcoming matchup with the Cougars to be tough as well.

“We had a terrific game with Washington State last year here in Memorial Coliseum,” Mitchell said. “They are well-coached and talented as well so I am sure they will be ready to roll on Sunday. A challenging trip for us, but one we are excited to take.”

WSU will take on Kentucky at 1 p.m. Sunday in Beasley Coliseum. The game will be broadcasted live on the Pac-12 Networks.