WBK: Cougs host UC Davis Thur. night in WNIT 3rd round matchup


BYU Athletics

WHAT: UC Davis (25-7) at Washington State (14-19), WNIT 3rd round

WHERE: Beasley Colisem (11,671), Pullman, WA

WHEN: Thur. March 23, 7:00 p.m. PT


After reaching the postseason for just the fourth time in the modern NCAA era, the Cougs have proven to be a tough out as WSU has won a pair of games on the road to begin the WNIT.

The wins for the Cougs in the first two 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.

Round 3 of the WNIT is slated for March 22-24; Quarterfinals are March 25-27, and the WNIT semifinals are set for March 29-30.

The Cougars earned the Pac-12 conference's automatic bid into the WNIT thanks to their seventh place finish in the standings. With the Pac-12 earning a record seven bids into the Big Dance (5 teams have reached the Sweet 16), the Cougars became the conference's first team out making them the first team into the WNIT.

The bid into the WNIT marks the third time in the last four seasons the Cougars advanced to the postseason tournament.

LAST TIME OUT: The Cardiac Cougars survived and advanced for the second time in three days as the Washington State women's basketball team earned a 68-67, overtime, win on the road at Wyoming Saturday afternoon. The win sent the Cougars (14-19) into the round of 16 in the Women's National Invitational Tournament as WSU picked up just its second postseason victory in program history. Junior Pinelopi Pavlopoulou led WSU with a career-high 20 points while adding 4 assists. Her classmate, Caila Hailey, added 12 points and 6 assists, while sophomore Alexys Swedlund and senior Ivana Kmetovska each added 10 points. Hailey and Swedlund each chipped in 8 rebounds.

WASHINGTON STATE IN THE REGULAR SEASON: The Cougars finished the regular season with a 11-18 overall record, including a 6-12 mark in Pac-12 Conference play earning a tie for 7th after being picked to finish 10th in the preseason. The Cougars lost six games this season that were decided by two possessions (six points) or less or in overtime. Washington State defeated one nationally-ranked opponent this season, upsetting #9/7 UCLA, 82-73, on Jan. 6 in the program's biggest upset ever. WSU earned a spot in the WNIT thanks to their 7th place finish in the Pac-12.

ABOUT UC DAVIS: The 2016-17 season marks the Aggies' fifth foray into the postseason in its 10 seasons at the Division I level and the program's first since making the WNIT field in 2012. Sunday's win at Colorado State improved the Aggies to 2-3 in WNIT games with both wins coming this season. The Aggies are led by a trio of double-digit scorers with Morgan Bertsch pacing the team at 16.1 ppg on an impressive 51.4% shooting. She is a presence inside, averaging 5.3 rpg and 1.7 bpg. Offensively, the Aggies average 69.1 ppg while shooting at a 43.9% clip.