Women’s basketball travels to Hawaii for Rainbow Wahine Classic


Sophomore guard Pinelopi Pavlopoulou dribbles downcourt during a game against UC Santa Barbara in Beasley Coliseum, Nov. 8, 2015. The Cougars beat the Gauchos, 79-37.

Convincing 14 players to focus on a business trip instead of sandy beaches is the task at hand for Washington State women’s basketball Head Coach June Daugherty.

The Cougars (2-0) will travel to Honolulu, Hawaii, this weekend to take part in the 2015 Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Classic. WSU will face Nevada (0-2) Friday followed by Hawaii (2-0) Sunday.

WSU will have one full day of practice today before facing the Wolfpack. The Cougars won the last meeting between the two programs, a 67-54 victory at home, Dec. 5, 2010. WSU has also won the only neutral site meeting, a 67-52 win, Dec. 19, 1997.

“It’s a lot of travel but at the same time we have to utilize the practice time that we do get on the road,” Daugherty said. “Film sessions, everything has to be right on point.”

Against Hampton Monday, the Cougars allowed a season-high 19 points in the fourth quarter and 38 points in the second half. Senior guard Taylor Edmondson noted the team’s lack of success defensively as a focal point to fix heading into the Rainbow Wahine Classic.

“We said in the locker room we want to get better on both ends of the floor,” Edmondson said. “I felt toward the end of the game our defense, we slacked a little bit. We want to focus on getting better at defense and cutting hard. Getting back to the team we are in practice.”

WSU will close out the classic against Hawaii, a team the Cougars haven’t defeated since 2008. The Rainbow Wahine enter the game riding a two-game win streak against the Cougars including a 77-66 victory Nov. 15, 2013 in the Rainbow Wahine Classic.

The trip to Hawaii presents a slight homecoming for senior guard Dawnyelle Awa, who played at Konawaena High School in Kealakekua, Hawaii. Awa said it will be nice to return to the Islands, but she might not be the most excited.

“I’m really excited. My team might be more excited than I am,” Awa said. “But I’m looking forward to seeing family.”

WSU and Nevada tipoff at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu. Hawaii and WSU will tipoff at 7 p.m. Sunday with the game televised on Oceania Time Warner Cable with a live stream available online. Live stats will be provided for both games on wsucougars.com.