Two close games this weekend against the Oregon schools featured the WSU women’s basketball team doing something they’ve had trouble with thus far — closing the game.
The two games, however, had different outcomes for the Cougars as they lost their first game to Oregon 70-68 and won against Oregon State 76-73 in a contest that went to overtime.
The Cougars, who now possess a 6-13 overall record and a 2-6 Pac-12 record, were in tight spots in both games before coming back twice.
In the Oregon game on Friday, the Cougars came extremely close to finishing the game victorious after a slow start, but their comeback fell just short of sending the game to overtime. A last second shot by Taylor Edmondson rattled out to give the Ducks a 70-68 win.
The Cougars began the game with slow play, giving up a 36-24 lead to Oregon at halftime. In the second half, the Cougars outscored the Ducks 44-34, a margin that proved to be just short of what was necessary for victory.
More than half of Oregon’s points came off an Oregon perimeter shooting attack that made 12 three pointers in 30 attempts. Sophomore Tia Presley and freshman Lia Galdeira led WSU with 16 and 13 points, respectively.
Galdeira had to spend a few minutes out of the game after a collision with an Oregon player, but she did return.
“It was a tough battle, you know, I thought our kids just gave everything they had,” WSU Head Coach June Daugherty said after the game.
“If we play with the type of energy and the amount of toughness that I thought this team showed, especially with the adversity with the foul trouble and injuries, then good things will come our way,” Daugherty continued.
The intensity of Friday’s game carried over to Sunday. The Cougars were prepared for their second game of the weekend, a result of the training they did in the offseason.
The Oregon State game played out nearly the same for the Cougars, as a large run by the Beavers right before halftime left them down by a 38-24 margin. The Cougars began the second half with a run of their own, bringing themselves back into the game promptly. From that point, the matchup went back and forth until the second half ended with the two teams locked up in a tie.
In overtime, it looked as though the game might continue even longer, but the Cougars managed to connect on key free throws to seal their three-point win and end their five-game losing streak.
Freshman Lia Galdeira scored 22 points for the Cougars, and fellow Freshman Mariah Cooks had 16 points off the bench of the Cougars. Freshman DawnyelleAwa had her first career start as Tia Presley did not play.
“We’re really proud of the fact that we handled the adversity and we just kept fighting and kept believing,” Coach Daugherty said following the win. “Great win for this program.”
Next up, the Cougars will spend a weekend in Arizona as they take on Arizona State on Friday and Arizona on Sunday.