PULLMAN, Wash. – Four players scored in double figures for Washington State University who dropped a Pac-12 Conference matchup against the University of Washington, 79-72 at Beasley Coliseum Sunday.
Sophomore guard Tia Presley led the Cougars (5-12, 1-5, Pac-12) with 15 points and four steals while WSU finished the game shooting 42.4 percent after hitting 48 percent of its shots in the first half. Junior forward Sage Romberg and freshman guard Lia Galdeira each added 13 points while fellow freshman Mariah Cooks posted career highs of 13 points and six rebounds. Washington improved to 12-5 overall and 4-2 in conference play after hitting 50 percent of its shots in the second half and finishing the game with 12 made threes.
After struggling in the opening minutes in Tuesday’s matchup, the Cougars shot 48 percent from the floor including six threes in the first 20 minutes of Sunday’s rematch between the two schools. Galdeira got things started by scoring five of the Cougars six points and later making a couple nice passes to senior center Carly Noyes and Romberg for easy buckets.
The Washington State bench kept things going late in the half as junior forward Hana Potter started a 9-0 run with a layup, junior guard Brandi Thomas followed with a three in the right corner and Cooks finished a drive with a left-handed layin. Potter capped the run by again scoring from underneath to put WSU up four at the 10:58 mark.
Minutes later, the Huskies countered with back-to-back threes but Galdeira and Presley answered with consecutive threes of their own that brought the Beasley Coliseum crowd to its feet.
Galdeira was at it again late in the period, sparking a 12-5 run with 5:13 left by driving the lane and dishing to sophomore forward Shalie Dheensaw for a layup who was fouled on the play hit the free throw. The next two trips saw Romberg hit two jumpers from the baseline, Galdeira then added her own baseline jumper before Romberg knocked down a three for an eight-point lead with just over two minutes left in the half.
Washington again battled back, this time with the final four points of the half, picking off a WSU pass and getting a bucket in the final seconds to cut the Cougars lead to four at the break.
The Huskies scored the first nine points of the second half, expanding its run to 13-0 and opening up a five point advantage just under four minutes into the second period.
Presley settled things down for WSU with a three from the top of the key; Romberg added another trey and Presley hit two free throws that made it one-point game. Noyes capped the 10-1 run with a jumphook and Cooks later added a layup after receiving a bullet-pass from freshman guard Dawnyelle Awa before Galdeira gave WSU a 57-53 advantage with her third three of the game.
Washington continued to stay within striking distance with three-ball and later took the lead for good with seven straight points beginning at the 7:41 mark. The Huskies got a bucket and two free throws before taking the lead on Heather Corral’s three in the right corner.
The Cougars got within one on the ensuing possession after Presley’s runner in the lane with 5:45 left but UW hit threes on its next two trips and kept the lead around five until the final seconds.
With 10 seconds remaining, Cooks won a battle for a rebound and went back up for a bucket that brought WSU within three but Washington converted its free throws to seal up the win.
The Cougars continue Pac-12 play hosting the University of Oregon, 7 p.m. Friday and Oregon State University, 1 p.m. next Sunday.