After getting some home cooking (and some wins) over Thanksgiving week, the 4-3 Zags will travel to face another in-state rival Washington State. The Cougars started off the season horrible, including a road loss to Saint Mary's on November 12, but has since recovered, winning four straight to come into this game with a 5-4 record.
Their last win came on Monday in a 85-63 home win over Saint Louis. The top player for Washington State was sophomore Borislava Hristova. She finished the game with 21 points and six rebounds and is top player for the Zags to deal with, averaging 17.9 ppg. The 6'0 forward will be matched up with Jill Barta, with whoever winning the battle will certainly have the edge for the game.
The teams are pretty similar in how they're set up. The Cougars also operate in the post, with 46 of their points in the last game coming from inside the paint. They shoot 34% from deep, which is on the same level as the Zags, but gives up 38% to the opponents, which is second worst of all PAC-12 schools.
With Barta having her hands full, Zykera Rice will have to continue her impressive run of late, including a 20 point, 10 rebound career game against Portland State. She's has the physical presence to contend with power five players, she'll be key in this one.
Washington State will be looking to avenge last season's 79-61 drubbing in Spokane where no Cougar scored more than 11. Barta led all scorers with 16 points, and Emma Stach had 12, hitting all three of her deep shots.
With the game being in Pullman, this won't be easy, even if it's against a lower level PAC-12 team. That being said, if the Gaels can pull out the win, so can the Zags.