Cougs have upset on their mind

WSU returns home for final two regular season games, hopes to top No. 7 Stanford



Junior guard Chanelle Molina shields the ball from a UW defender during a game Feb. 15 at Beasley Coliseum.

KATIE ARCHER, Evergreen reporter

WSU women’s basketball will finish its regular season at home with a pair of games against No. 7 Stanford on Friday and Cal on Sunday.

The Cougars (9-18, 4-12) are looking to rebound from a two-game road trip where they fell to Utah and Colorado.

Head Coach Kamie Ethridge said WSU knows how they need to perform to win games. They just have to execute better.

“I think our players are smart enough to understand,” Ethridge said, “and watch and see us play when we’re good, [and] what we have to do to be good.”

To wrap up the regular season on a high note, senior guard Alexys Swedlund said the team will need to focus on each game one at a time.

She said preparation and the Cougars’ ability to take the game one possession at a time will be key in deciding whether they can pull off an upset over the Cardinal (23-4, 13-3).

“When we do that, we can play with them,” Swedlund said.

Stanford is currently on a four-game winning streak and is coming off a 71-50 home victory over then No. 17 Arizona State on Sunday.

The Cardinal are led by senior forward Alanna Smith who is averaging 20.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.

WSU has a prolific scorer of its own in redshirt junior Borislava Hristova. She is averaging 20.8 points per game, third best in the conference and 16th best in the nation.

The Cougars will honor their two seniors, center Maria Kostourkova and Swedlund, on Sunday.

Ethridge said she is looking forward to honoring the two players in their final home game against Cal.

Swedlund holds the school record for career three-pointers made and currently has 222. She broke the mark in a game against Saint Mary’s this season.

In her career, Swedlund has 1,130 points and a 34.4 three-point field goal percentage. She broke the 1,000 point milestone on the road against Oregon early in January.

Kostourkova, a native of Lisbon, Portugal, has 670 points, 624 rebounds, 153 assists and 134 blocks in her career.

As her WSU career winds down, Swedlund said she is trying to focus on the friendships she made along the way. One of her favorite memories is the team’s run to the semifinals of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament during her sophomore year.

Swedlund said she will miss the preparation before the season and being able to compete against colleges across the nation.

“I think that’s the biggest thing for me,” she said, “is being able to say ‘Oh, I represented Washington State University on the front and my family name on the back.’ ”

WSU will look to take down No. 7 Stanford 7 p.m. Friday at Beasley Coliseum before facing Cal noon Sunday. Both games can also be seen on Pac-12 Networks.