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Originally published November 10, 2009 at 9:08 PM | Page modified November 10, 2009 at 9:08 PM

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5 keys to Cougars' women's basketball season

5 keys to the season.

5 keys to the season

Defend

Washington State was entertaining and aggressive last season, but late in games veteran teams could take advantage of lack of focus on defense. Players need to use their quickness to contest shots and force turnovers.

Rebound

The Cougars were last in the Pac-10 in rebounding. Opponents got way too many second-chance points on offensive boards.

Don't look ahead

WSU wants to finish higher than sixth in the Pac-10. Cougars need to take it one step at a time, and young squad could crack top five in a competitive conference.

Bring the Noyes

Carly Noyes, a 6-foot-5 nationally recognized recruit from Moses Lake, needs to make an impact inside. She's got the size, she's only lacking the experience.

Aim better

While WSU needs work on defense, the offense could use a jolt, too. The Cougars shot just 36 percent and committed 18.7 turnovers a game last season. Guard play should improve with redshirt freshman Katie Grad back from a foot injury, but the entire team has to do a better job shooting and taking care of the ball.

Schedule highlights

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• Cougars' opener is at home on Sunday against UC Davis, the start of coach June Daugherty's third season.

• Cougars play at Kansas State on Nov. 20, a stiff test against strong Big 12 contender.

• Cougars haven't defeated Huskies since 1995. First chance to end streak will be Jan. 29 in Pullman.

Jayda Evans

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