Hooper helped the Huskers race to a 34-2 lead over the Red Hawks, a transitional Division I team that played the previous evening at Oklahoma State. Next up for Nebraska is the final game of a four-game home stand as they host the Washington State Cougars Saturday evening at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln. The 5 p.m. (central) tip-off time will follow the Nebraska men’s basketball noon game against Northern Illinois.
Washington State was picked ninth in the preseason Pac-12 poll and heads into Saturday evening’s game with a 3-4 record. They return three starters and 11 letterwinners from last season’s 11-20 squad that finished eighth in the conference race. WSU fell to BYU 80-73 in Provo, Utah Tuesday night, despite making two more field goals than their opponent. Washington State shot a dismal 17 percent from beyond the arc, making only 3-of-18 long-range shots.
Tia (TEE-ahh) Presley, a 5-9 junior guard, has shown no effects of the torn ACL injury to her right knee she suffered in January that forced her to miss the final 13 games of the 2012-13 season. Despite missing most of the league season, she still was named to the All Pac-12 honorable-mention team. Presley can fill up the basket and posted the second-highest single-game point total in Cougar history when she lit up Fresno State for 37 points earlier this season. Presley had 15 points in the loss at BYU Tuesday night and leads WSU in scoring this season, averaging 21.0 points per game.
Lia Galdeira was second among all freshmen nationally in scoring last season (14.8 ppg) and her 33-point output against Minnesota set the WSU freshman record for a single game. The 5-11 sophomore guard was named honorable-mention All-Pac 12 and led the league in steals in 2012-13. She has 16 thefts this season. She averages 17.3 points per game this year, but struggled from long range, making just 1-of-9 three point attempts in the loss at BYU.
Sage Romberg, a 6-1 senior forward, played against Nebraska in 2011 and had nine points and five rebounds in the Huskers’ 87-79 win in Pullman, Wash. Romberg just missed a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds Tuesday night in the loss at BYU. She averages 9.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and her nine blocked shots leads the team. Romberg also has shown good range, knocking down eight three-pointers this season.
Shalie Dheensaw has significant international playing experience. The 6-4 junior from British Columbia helped Canada to a second-place finish at the FIBA Americas U16 World Qualifying Tournament in 2009 and led the Canadian U17 National Team in rebounding and was second in scoring during the FIBA U17 World Championship in France in 2010. Like Romberg, Dheensaw just missed a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds in just 28 minutes of action against BYU Tuesday night. Dheensaw leads the Cougars in rebounding (7.4 rpg) this season and adds 6.7 points per game.
Dawnyelle Awa a 5-9 guard, rounds out a Washington State starting lineup that has been the same through the first seven games. Awa’s 20 assists lead the team, and she adds 5.1 points per game. She was the Hawaii Girls High School Player of the Year in 2012 and was a prep teammate of fellow WSU guard Lia Galdeira. Awa started the last 13 games for the Cougars last season after Presley’s season-ending knee injury. Awa led the team with 68 assists, second-most among freshmen in the Pac-12 in 2012-13.
June Daugherty has been the head coach at three Division I schools and now enters her seventh season leading the Washington State program. A member of the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame, Daugherty was a finalist for the Wade National Player of the Year Award the first year it was presented in 1978. The two-time All-American was head coach at Boise State for seven seasons before leading the University of Washington program for 11 years.
Nebraska has won 10 straight games over Pac-12 Conference teams, including this season’s wins over UCLA and at Utah. The Huskers are 4-0 all-time against Washington State, including the 87-79 win in their last meeting in 2010 in Pullman. Freshman forward Jordan Hooper had 16 points and six rebounds in the NU win.
Nebraska has won both meetings all-time at WSU and has defeated the Cougars twice in Lincoln. Washington State’s last trip to Nebraska was during the Huskers’ run to an undefeated 2009-10 regular season. NU knocked off the Cougars 107-54 on Nov. 22, 2009 and also bested WSU 78-64 in 2004 at the Devaney Center.
I cordially invite you to join Jeff Griesch and me for Nebraska women’s basketball on the Husker Sports Network. Our radio broadcast Saturday evening begins with the pre-game show at 4:45 p.m. (central) with the tip-off scheduled for 5:05 p.m. on the Husker Sports Network including KLIN 94.5/1400 in Lincoln, KFFF 93.3 in Omaha, KCOW 1400 in Alliance, KODY 1240 in North Platte, KRGI 1430 in Grand Island, KNEB 94.1 in Scottsbluff, KHUB 1340 in Fremont, KBLR 97.3 in Blair and many others. All Husker women’s basketball broadcasts are also available for free worldwide on the internet at www.huskers.com. I hope you can join us.
There are a number of ways to get enhanced information about our broadcast and Husker women’s basketball via social media. You can learn more about the team on the Nebraska Women’s Basketball Facebook page or follow the team on their official Twitter page @huskerswbb. I also invite you to friend me on Facebook (Matt Coatney) or follow me on Twitter @coatman1.
Go Big Red!