WSU women have their moxie back as they head into WNIT Elite Eight game against Iowa

WSU has won three games in a row, and is now in its first-ever postseason quarterfinals as it travels to Iowa City, Iowa

New day, new record broken.

That’s been the story of the postseason for the Washington State women’s basketball team.

Buoyed by the 49 boards they grabbed in their 71-62 WNIT Sweet 16 home win over UC Davis on Thursday night, the Cougars advanced to the WNIT Elite Eight as the leading rebounders in program history, with 1375 in 34 games.

Next up, the Cougars (15-19) go back on the road to face Iowa (20-13) on Sunday and play for a semifinal berth.

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“It’s so exciting,” said WSU coach June Daugherty. “There’s 16 teams left playing in women’s basketball, period. To get this program to the Elite Eight just speaks volumes about these kids.”

The Cougars got 20 points from Alexys Swedlund against UC Davis, and 16 from Pinelopi Pavlopoulou, but they won that game on the strength of their 22 offensive rebounds and 14 steals.

“This group takes great, enormous pride in their defense. And it’s not just one player, it’s collective, every one of them,” Daugherty said. “They believe they can get stops down the stretch, and that’s great.”

WSU’s defense will have its hands full containing Iowa’s offense, which ranks 21st nationally and averages 76.4 points per game. The Hawkeyes are sixth nationally with a 47.4 shooting percentage, and have several reliable marksmen.

Senior guard Ally Disterhoft scored 21 in their WNIT first round win against Missouri State, sophomore forward Megan Gustafson, who’s averaging a team-hig 18.5 points per game, erupted for a career-high 33 points against South Dakota and Disterhoft led three Hawkeyes in double digit scoring with 15 points as Iowa shut down Colorado 80-62 in the Sweet 16.

Note, that’s the same Colorado team WSU snuck by 79-78 in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament earlier this…

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