Women: Washington State 69, USC 55
Forget about Cougar Gold cheese as after the No. 11-seed Washington State Cougars extended its special run with an upset win over No. 3-seed USC at the Galen Center, the most talked about part of the Washington State campus may not be the cheese anymore. The Cougars took down the Trojans 69-55.
"We're really proud to take the next step with our program," said Cougar head coach June Daugherty. "Yesterday was historic and this was even better. The seniors played like seniors. They led this program for four years and it's such a thrill as a coaching staff to watch them play the way the played today."
After playing at the same time last night and not having as many days off as USC before starting the Pacific Life Pac-12 Tournament, the Cougars opened up the game with by seeing USC take a slight lead. With 6:15 left in the first half, a three-pointer by Jazmine Perkins enabled the Cougars take and hold onto a lead to last the half.
Helping out the Cougar cause was USC struggling to find the bottom of the net. Washington State shot 40 percent for the first half while USC was plagued by 24.2 percent shooting.
"When we went down to the Paradise Jam and played three games in three days in humidity, I felt like we've been prepared to play back-to-back games," said Perkins.
The second half saw some improvement for the Women of Troy as they cut the lead to as few as three points with 18:51 left to play. But the Cougars could not be stopped. Washington State answered back with their own 13-9 run in the course of five minutes to put the game away for good. The Cougars managed to hold onto a double-digit lead for most of the second half.
"Anytime you get in the tournament, everyone's playing to win," said USC guard Briana Gilbreath. "They had a little bit more intensity, fire, energy and consistency. I wasn't surprised because Washington State is a team that can do that on any given night. They played well."
USC as a team shot 26.2 percent for the game. The Women of Troy especially struggled from three-point land, shooting 26.3 percent from beyond the arc. USC was led by Gilbreath's 17 points and 10 rebounds and Christina Marinacci's 13 points. Cassie Harberts also contributed with 12 rebounds.
"We are looking forward to moving over to the Staples Center, taking the next step and moving on," said Daugherty.
The Cougars shot 44.6 percent as a team. The Cougars were led by 15 points from April Cook and 12 points from Perkins.
Washington State now moves on to play in tomorrow's second semifinal game against California with a 2:30 p.m. start time at the Staples Center.