The WSU women’s basketball will travel to Seattle this week for their second face-off with the University of Washington.
UW comes into the weekend with a 14-11 record including a 6-9 in Pac-12 play. The Huskies lead the all-time series 64-17 against Washington State, having won 33 straight games after achieving a 60-51 victory in Pullman last month.
“Exciting week, rivalry week with Washington and Apple Cup and all that,” Head Coach June Daugherty said.
Daugherty said the team wants to focus the same amount of energy they had toward the end against Arizona State in this weekend’s game. The WSU players are very excited about the week ahead, she said.
WSU cannot forget about any UW players during gameplay because the Huskies have a lot of weapons, Daugherty said.
“So it makes it tough,” Daugherty said. “It makes, I think, for a big challenge for our front line again this week to go out there and play a lot of one on one and limit a lot of touches.”
An important part of practice has been staying in front of the UW guards because their guards are capable of breaking down players to get the shot, Daugherty said.
“At the same time you have to contain them because of their three point shooting,” Daugherty said. “So we’re just really trying to focus on our defense this week and get it much more improved. I think we’re making progress in our individual defense but we’ve still got a ways to go.”
The team has been improving their defense with drills in practice this entire week, she said.
Offensively the team has been practicing against zone defense and improving strength with the ball to prevent possible UW steals, sophomore guard and forward Sage Romberg said.
WSU expects UW’s shooters to try and get shots, Romberg said. The Cougar women have prepared for this by practicing locking up the opponents players.
Sophomore guard and forward Brandi Thomas said WSU plans to attack the UW defense from the inside out. She said she expects UW to come out as tough as WSU.
The game against the Huskies will be a mental game, she said. It will be important for WSU to have the mindset to treat this game like they would any other.
The Seattle atmosphere will require the Cougars to focus on their gameplay and not allow for the environment to affect them, she said.
Romberg said the UW game is always intense and having it as one of the last games will end the season on a high point.
“We want to get out, we want to win, we want to play well,” Daugherty said, “and we want everyone in the country to see what our Cougs are made of. So we’re really excited about this opportunity and really looking forward to it.”
Tip-off is set for noon Sunday in Seattle. The game will be televised.