Cougar Women Fall to Cal in OT - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Cougar Women Fall to Cal in OT

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by WSU Athletics

BERKELEY, Calif. – Washington State’s upset bid on the road against No. 18/18 University of California went into overtime before California held on for a 75-68 victory at Haas Pavilion Thursday.

The Cougars (15-14, 9-8 Pac-12) shot 31 percent from the field and outrebounded Cal (21-7, 13-4 Pac-12) 63-59. Cal shot over 34 percent from the field and went 27-of-43 at the free throw line. WSU was held to 2-for-11 shooting in overtime and went 5-of-13 at the free throw line for the game.

“I am really proud of how we continued to work hard throughout the game. We kept battling back and made some plays to send it to overtime but couldn’t get it going offensively in overtime,” head coach June Daugherty said. “We outrebounded one of the best rebounding teams in the conference and held them (Cal) to 21 points in the second half. I am very proud of our effort tonight.”

Junior guard Tia Presley led Washington State with 15 points and 11 rebounds, her third double-double of her career , and junior center Shalie Dheensaw posted her fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and a career high 15 rebounds. Sophomore guard Lia Galdeira scored 13 points and senior forward Sage Romberg added eight points and 10 rebounds.

“I thought Shalie played a phenomenal game tonight, she was tough down low all night against one of best front lines in the country,” Daugherty added.

Washington State answered Cal’s hot start in the opening minutes with threes from sophomore guard Dawnyelle Awa and Galdeira. Sophomore guard Taylor Edmondson later scored on a backdoor cut for a layin and senior guard Brandi Thomas followed with a jumper from the left elbow.

Galdeira sparked the Cougars late in the half, delivering a no-look pass to Romberg underneath for two and Dheensaw followed with a jumper. Washington State made its run with under five minutes remaining as Dheensaw tipped one in on a missed free throw before Galdeira hit a three, Romberg followed with a three of her own for a 33-32 lead at the 3:20 mark. Galdeira stayed hot and knocked down another from beyond the arc from the right wing for a four-point advantage.

The Golden Bears came right back with seven straight points to retake the lead before Cooks and Dheensaw each added baskets. Cal scored once more just before the half and took a 43-40 lead into the break. Galdeira led WSU with 11 points while the Cougars shot over 42 percent in the first 20 minutes. Cal’s Reshanda Gray scored 32 points in the first half.

Early in the second half, the Cougars used a 7-2 spurt to take a two-point lead as Romberg hit a three, Cooks scored on a drive to the basket and Presley scored after an Awa steal and long pass ahead for an easy layin and a 50-48 lead.

Washington State stayed within a couple buckets throughout the rest of the half before hitting some big shots down the stretch. Presley scored on an inbounds play underneath the basket that cut the Cal lead to three with 4:08 remaining.

With under three minutes remaining, Dheensaw grabbed a rebound, was fouled and went on to hit both free throws that brought WSU within two. The Cougar defense came up with a couple stops before Galdeira tied the game at 64 with 1:34 left on a driving layup.

Both teams had a couple chances for potential game-winners but the defenses again forced stops with the Cougars turning away two Golden Bear possessions in the final seconds to the send the game into overtime. Washington State was poised to get the ball back with 11 seconds left but a rebound, that was originally awarded to WSU, was reviewed and given back to Cal but the Cougars came up with one final stop.

In overtime, California scored the first three points before Dheensaw made a nice move in the low post, finishing with a jumphook. Cal then hit a couple free throws as the Cougars struggled to get a shot to fall in the extra session. The Golden Bears added a couple more free throws in the final seconds to seal up a 75-68 victory.

WSU will close out the regular season Saturday at Stanford University. Tipoff will be at 7:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.

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