Cougars Claw Back, Down Cats, 68-58
Jan. 31, 2009
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State guard Jazmine Perkins 13 of her team-leading 17 points in the second half to lead the Cougars to a 68-58 comeback win over visiting Arizona, Saturday afternoon in Pac-10 play at Friel Court.
Perkins led a Washington State comeback effort that saw the home side connect on 8-of-11 three-point attempts (.727) after intermission following a 3-for-12 (.250) opening half effort.
For the third-straight game, head coach Niya Butts chose to start senior Sarah Hays and sophomore Faihza Hill. In return, she receives more scoring punch off the bench from freshmen Reiko Thomas and Courtney Clements. The strategy worked for a second-straight game as the Wildcat bench outpointed the Cougars, 28-23, the only two times that has occurred all season.
The Wildcats came blazing out of the blocks to start the game, making 5-of-6 shots inside the first four minutes of the game. Faihza Hill and Ashley Frazier each drilled three-pointers against the Cougar zone while the Arizona defense held Washington State to a 2-of-8 offensive start.
The Cats set a season-high with a 14-of-27 shooting clip (.519) and matched their season-high in points before the break at 34. However, Arizona still committed 11 turnovers that gave Washington State 10 of its 25 points.
Known as a streaky shooting team, Washington State found its outside touch to start the second half. Jazmine Perkins and Katie Appleton each hit a pair of three-pointers around a fourth trey by Rosie Tarnowski. Lexie Pettersen got in on the act with a three-pointer of her own that finished off a 6-for-7 clip before Heather Molzen drove to the bucket for the first Washington State lead at 49-48.
Courtney Clements hit a running bank shot to put the Cats back up in front on the next possession before Molzen answered with a put-back for a 51-50 scoreline. A jumper by Thomas gave the Cats the lead one more time before Washington State generated another surge that completed its comeback.
Appleton connected from the left corner on a trey that sparked a 8-0 run over a 3:29 stretch. Perkins added a jumper before Danielle LeNoir hit a three from the right corner with 3:49 to play. During that stretch, Arizona missed six-straight shots and added a turnover that appeared to seal its fate. After a bucket by Kezia Kelly made it 60-52, the Cats made one final burst before running out of clock.
Ashley Frazier hit 1-of-2 free throws, then Courtney Clements drilled a three-pointer after Amina Njonkou grabbed the rebound off the missed freebie. However, Perkins inserted the final dagger with yet another three-pointer on the next trip down.
Washington State shot 13-of-25 overall in the second half (.520) as they outscored the Wildcats, 43-24. On the other end, Arizona lost its scoring touch against the Cougar zone, connecting on only 10-of-29 (.300) after the break while also hitting only 3-of-9 free throws for the game. The Cats were also beaten on the boards, 39-30, yielding 15 second-chance points.
Ibekwe tallied her 11th double-double of the season for Arizona, tallying game-highs of 18 points and 11 rebounds. Clements chipped in with 15 points while Ashley Frazier matched her career-best with 8 assists.
Appleton added 15 points for Washington State (9-11, 2-7) while Tarnowski added all 12 of her points from behind the arc.
Arizona (8-12, 1-8) returns home on Thursday, February 5 to host Oregon State to start a stretch of 5-of-7 home contests starting at 7 p.m.