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WSU women win third straight in WNIT

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The women's basketball team has made it to the elite eight

Courtesy of WSU Athletic Communications

The Cougar women's basketball team defeated UC-Davis 71-62 Thursday, to advance to the Elite Eight of the Women's National Invitational Tournament. Unlike many of Washington State's wins this postseason, the Cougars controlled the game throughout and didn't need to make up a big deficit or stave off a last ditch comeback from their opponent.

After a back and forth five and a half minutes to open the game, Alexys Swedlund hit her second consecutive three to put WSU up 15-13. There wasn’t a single lead change from that point onward. The Cougars soon pushed their lead to double digits, and led by 13 at halftime.

UC-Davis did close the gap in the second half, but WSU always had a response. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, WSU's lead was cut to 51-47, but Swedlund and Pinelopi Pavlopoulou hit back-to-back threes to create a cushion.

It wasn't the Cougars shooting (35% from the field) that secured them the victory, but their defense and rebounding. WSU forced the Aggies into 19 turnovers and scored 18 points off them. The Cougars also won the rebounding battle, 49-40, and scored twice as many points in the paint.

Swedlund had another huge night, leading the Cougs with 20 points and nine rebounds. She also made four of her 10 attempts from beyond the arc and had two steals. Caila Hailey led WSU on the defensive end with four steals.

While their 15-19 record isn't too impressive, the Cougs are well respected by the Massey Ratings, a statistical ranking system. The Cougars are the no. 41 team in the country, per Massey, and the third highest ranked team left in the WNIT.

Next, WSU will travel to Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes Sunday, at noon.

*****

Women's Basketball:

WSU Cougars beat UC Davis to reach WNIT quarterfinals | | The Spokesman-Review
Energized by the loudest home crowd coach June Daugherty could remember in her 10 years at WSU, the Cougars’ unlikely postseason run continued Thursday night with a 71-62 victory over UC Davis in the third round of the WNIT.

Playing through her grief, WSU women’s basketball’s Pinelopi Pavlopoulou has helped the Cougars turn a corner | The Seattle Times
Pinelopi Pavlopoulou got a call with with the news her grandfather had died after the Cougars were eliminated from the Pac-12 tournament. Now she's leading them through the postseason.

Team Coug Invited To The 2017 USA Basketball 3x3 National Tournament - WSUCougars.com | Washington State University Athletics
The Cougars were picked to send a team to the 2017 USA Basketball 3x3 National Tournament this April.

Football:

Cougar Opens Spring Practice In Martin Stadium - WSUCougars.com | Washington State University Athletics
Washington State football opened spring practice with a two and a half our workout in helmets and shorts at Martin Stadium Thursday afternoon.

Washington State spring football roster: Early observations | | The Spokesman-Review
Washington State begins its spring football practices today in Pullman at 2:30 p.m.

Cougar Football Notebook: 3 Cougs picked top 25 players in Pac-12 - Washington State - Scout
Zach Charme, WSU's starting punter in 2015, is no longer with the team as CF.C reported earlier and per the new roster released on the eve of spring practices.

It's the Cougar Football Saturdays that you remember | Sports | dailyevergreen.com
Cougs never get tired of waking up in the early hours of Saturday mornings to the WSU marching band drumming down Stadium Way.

Newcomers debut as Cougs open spring practice
For the first day, Mike Leach focused on the effort level of the Cougars. He was pleased.