Cougars Tame Bulldogs 74-56

Dec. 17, 2000

PULLMAN, Wash. - Brittney Hawks scored a season-high 19 points heading a list of three Cougars that scored in double figures as Washington State defeated the Gonzaga Bulldogs 74-56 at Friel Court Sunday.

Down 50-49 with 9:07 left in the game, WSU outscored Gonzaga 25-6 the rest of the way to secure their fourth win of the season. With the victory, the Cougars matched their win total from last year. Gonzaga dropped to 3-6.

Sarah Barrett added 17 points and Victoria Harrod recorded her first game in double digits this season with 15 points for the Cougars. Gonzaga was led by a game high 21-point effort from Erin Bergman.

Hawks sparked the game-ending run by converting a three-point play to give WSU a 52-50 with 8:20 left. Hawks, who was limited to seven minutes of action in the first half because of foul trouble, accounted for 10 points in the game-ending blitz by the Cougars. In addition to her scoring, Hawks led the Cougars with eight rebounds.

'I thought Brittney had a very strong finish,' said WSU coach Jenny Przekwas. 'I think the foul trouble early definitely affected her. That was tough to come back from but she did well.'

Despite falling behind, Gonzaga stayed with WSU as the Bulldogs trailed by only a 56-54 margin with 6:01 left. But the Bulldogs would not score during the next 4:10 while the Cougars recorded 12 consecutive points in that time to put the game away.

Although the game was in doubt until the final six minutes there was no doubt as to which team was winning the battle of the boards during the course of the contest. For the game, WSU out-rebounded Gonzaga 43-31 including an 18-7 edge on the offensive boards.

'I was impressed with the rebounding,' said Przekwas. 'I felt like that was one of the biggest keys in the game. We could not let them get a ton of offensive boards. I think in large part we won because we controlled the boards and didn't allow them to gain control.'

WSU took as much as a 13-point lead in the first half but a 10-0 Gonzaga run in the final three minutes of the stanza cut the Cougars' advantage to 35-32 at the half.

WSU saw what remained of its double-digit lead soon evaporate as Gonzaga tied the game at 39 with a three-pointer by Jessica Malone at the 16:52 mark of the second half. A Malone three-pointer at the 9:07 mark gave Gonzaga its final lead of the game at 50-49. Those two treys would account for half the points Malone would score all day.

Malone, who entered the game leading Gonzaga in scoring with a 21.1 points per game average, was held to 12 points on 3-of-12 shooting.

WSU garnered the win despite being without the services of leading scorer Yvonne Volkman and Jessica Collins. Each player is suffering from stress fractures to their left foot and will be out for the next 4 to 6 weeks.

The Cougars can enjoy an 11-day layoff before returning to action Friday, Dec. 29 at the Lady Griz Holiday Classic at Missoula, Mont. WSU opens the tournament against Samford at 5 p.m. Pacific.

--wsucougars.com--
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