The Washington State women’s basketball team has received five votes in the USA Today Coaches poll. This marks the first time that the program has received top-25 votes since the 1991-92 season.
WSU received these votes as a result of the team’s post season run in the Pac-12 Tournament that guaranteed the program its first .500 finish since the 1995-96 season, which also made the program postseason eligible for the first time since then. In the Pac-12 Tournament the Cougs beat Oregon and upset Cal on their way to the program’s sixth tournament win in the last three seasons (and second trip to the semi-finals in as many years).
Washington State saw a couple of multi-year losing streaks come to an end this season. The Cougars ended a 36-game losing streak to in-state rival Washington on Jan. 7th in Pullman, and picked up their first season sweep of the Huskies since 1975 in Seattle four days later. WSU’s victory over Cal in the Pac-12 tournament ended the program’s six-game losing streak to the Golden Bears.
The 2013-2014 season was one of the best in program history, as the team won 17 games with 11 of those wins coming in conference play. WSU was led by guards Tia Presley (junior) and Lia Galdeira (sophomore) -- both players earned All-Pac-12 honors -- throughout the season.
The Cougs played five teams that finished in the Coaches’ poll top-25 -- No. 5 Stanford, No. 7 West Virginia, No. 11 Nebraska, No. 16 Gonzaga, and No. 21 California; as well as five teams in the other receiving votes category – Oregon State, USC, Dayton, BYU, and ASU.
The USA Today Coaches’ polls is voted on by a 32-member panel that is run by coaches at D-1 institutions and are members of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. Two of the coaches that coached against the Cougs are on the panel, so is Washington State women’s basketball head coach June Daugherty.
WSU will find out its post season fate on Mon., March 17th during the NCAA (7:00 pm) or WNIT (immediately following the conclusion of the NCAA’s) selection shows.